By Sgt. Omar Estrada, 3rd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div. February 27, 2012
Fort Hood, Texas -- The 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's commitment to the Fort Hood community and Black History Month is present in many ways, one of them is through the Adopt-a-School Program.
As part of the program, students at C.E. Ellison High School gathered for an assembly Feb. 8, 2012 to learn about the history of the regiment and their Buffalo Soldiers, in commemoration of Black History Month.
The Adopt-a-School Program teams brigade and battalion sized military units with local schools and designates Soldiers to work with principals, teachers and students to perform activities that increase public awareness of the Army's mission and to foster good relations with the local communities and schools.
"This is a very effective program where we have a direct connection with Fort Hood and the particular units that are willing to help us in many different ways," said David Dominguez, the principal for C.E. Ellison High School.
Dominguez met with leadership from the squadron to discuss the needs and wants of the school. Saber Squadron was able to figure out ways to surpass the expectations of the school's students and faculty by incorporating Black History Month into their involvement.
"We thought it would be fun… to talk to students about Buffalo Soldiers and their relation to the 9th Cavalry Regiment as part of the remembrance of Black History Month," said 2nd Lt. Stuart White, the fire support officer for the squadron.
The Army has monthly observances for several ethnic backgrounds to provide Soldiers the opportunity to learn more about other races and cultures.
Lt. Col. Cameron Cantlon, the squadron's commander, said they decided to talk to the students about military history and to celebrate Black History Month.
"We want to show the kids how the African-American culture is rooted into our military history and their achievements such as the Buffalo Soldiers and Medal of Honor recipients," he said.
High school faculty admitted that they had the opportunity to learn new things about military history in a different light.
"Today we have this big event where we are learning about the roots of the 9th Cav. and the connection with the Buffalo Soldiers. Things like that, that we didn't know until we made the connection through the Adopt-a-School unit," said Dominguez.
By the end of the period, students were actively participating by asking questions about the lesson and Cantlon's life as a Soldier. Students also gave feedback on military related issues.
"My dad served for 26 years in the Army, now I want to do my time for my country too by becoming a Soldier in the medical field as soon as I graduate from high school," said a student at the high school.