By 1st Lt. George GreenMarch 8, 2013
KILLEEN, Texas -- Staff members from Ellison High School invited officers and Soldiers from the 6th "Saber" Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to present students with a lesson on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and their unit during a presentation at the school Feb. 26 at the school, here.
The event included tables displaying pictures of Buffalo Soldiers, items representing the 9th Cavalry Regiment's history, company guidons and a mannequin of a Buffalo Soldier. A slide show was center stage with a presenter at the front of the auditorium engaging students and answering any questions they had.
Troop Commanders from different "Saber" squadrons presented the history of the Buffalo Soldiers for two periods at a time using their own style and incorporating obscure information not generally known.
For instance, the first and only documented female African American to serve with the Buffalo Soldiers was Cathay Williams who used the name William Cathay to hide her true identity. Williams served from 1866 to1868 before contracting smallpox and having her secret discovered by the doctor.
Students learned how the first all African American 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments earned their nicknames from Native Americans because of their tenacity in battle and the resemblance of their hair to the wild buffalo.
"The presentation brings out the conflict of Indians and African Americans who were not full citizens and taught how they lived," said Barb Dubbs, the EHS speech and history teacher.
A bonus for those in attendance was to hear from Maj. Earl Doyle, a Houston native, and the operations officer for the squadron.
Doyle, an African American whose parents emigrated from St. Croix in the 1970s, answered questions regarding the items on his Stetson, which included the Buffalo Soldiers symbol.
"I am an African American Soldier and a Buffalo Soldier. I'm proud to represent them." said Doyle.
The school's student activities director, Diana Allred, a Killeen, Texas native, expressed her enthusiasm in having the Saber officers as guest speakers because of the quality of the presentation and because the unit descended from the Buffalo Soldiers.
"This helps the students get out of the classroom and learn more about history. I want to make this an annual event," Allred said.
Students left the presentation knowing more history of the Buffalo Soldiers and more knowledge about the Army. One important extra lesson taught was race does not matter in the Army. People from all races and backgrounds serve together and overcome adversity everyday while serving the people of the United States.