B Troop – 4th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry (Memorial) held its change of command ceremony on Brown Parade Field May 16.
Around 30 attendees watched as Cmdr. Troy Wilcox, outgoing B Troop commander, passed the guidon to Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Hengst, incoming commander.
Wilcox is currently assigned to Fort Huachuca as Joint Interoperability Test Command, JITC, Operations Division chief. In July he will report for duty onboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan for two more years before retirement. This will be his second assignment with the Navy vessel.
Col. Thomas Boone, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, highlighted Wilcox’s big accomplishment as adding nine new riders to the ceremonial cavalry regiment, who completed graduation after three different riding schools. Adding a touch of humor to his remarks, Boone explained how Wilcox and his horse made an impact at his own recent change of command event.
“Maybe it was his sea legs but Wilcox did manage to survive being dismounted by his feisty horse Apache, landing feet first and did so daring, with the dash and discipline that we would expect from B Troop,” Boone said. “I’m not sure who to thank for such an event, perhaps Troy, or maybe Apache.”
Making his final remarks as outgoing commander, Wilcox thanked his Family, the Fort Huachuca community for its support and those who volunteered their time to the ceremonial unit stating his time with the troop was an experience of a lifetime.
“In a few minutes, I’ll be leading my last charge down this historic parade field here. Apache, how about we one-up the last one and make it all the way to the end together this time?” he said while adding some final words for his horse.
B Troop incoming commander Hengst is also assigned to JITC, holding the positions of test action officer and contracting officer’s representative, specializing in Operational Test and Evaluation.
While his short-term goal is recruiting more riders for the troop’s upcoming riding class this July, Hengst has the long-term goal of preparing the riders for the National Cavalry Competition this fall.
“This year will be the first time we’ll get to go and compete against the other cavalry units in a couple of years, so there will be big motivation to try and figure out who is good at what events, get our team together and then prepare for the cavalry competition so we can have a good showing against the other Army cavalry units,” Hengst explained.
Concluding the ceremony, B Troop made a successful charge down Brown Parade Field and asked attendees to join them post-event to partake in refreshments and interact with the horses.
B Troop also hosted its riding school graduation Thursday on Brown Parade Field. The ceremonial unit is comprised solely of volunteers and membership is open to the Fort Huachuca community.
B Troop commemorates the history of the U.S. Army’s participation in the Indian Wars in the Southwest. It was established at Fort Huachuca on July 4, 1973. This all-volunteer unit is comprised of active duty military personnel, retired military, Department of Defense Civilians and military dependents. Members of B Troop dress in authentic uniforms and their tack (horse gear) accurately represents that used by the U.S. Army in the 1880s. The group participates in military ceremonies, parades, and mounted cavalry demonstrations across Arizona and the nation.
A B Troop Ladies Auxiliary also dresses in period clothing. Women ride sidesaddle and represent Fort Huachuca at various ceremonies. Members also go through the riding school and formal training.
For more on B Troop and requirements for joining, go to http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/btroop/index.html.