Fort Irwin, Calif. — Warm food, camaraderie, comfort! These are the things that come to mind when Blackhorse Troopers think of Roll-In Day. Whether it’s been a long, hot rotation in the dead of summer, or a blustery, wet, miserable trip to the Box in the winter, Roll-In Day lifts our spirits and provides every Soldier that little bit of a pick-me-up. There is a certain feeling to eating and chatting with your fellows as you prop yourself up against the nearest vertical surface. The knowledge of a job well done settles restfully in your mind. Although there will be new issues the next day, the focus is on the here and now.
At the end of every rotation, Troopers and Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) across the Regiment, prepare dinner to demonstrate the appreciation the Soldiers and Families work so hard to deserve. Sounds of Soldiers cleaning and stowing their weapons away in the arms room, mix with the scents of grills and home-cooked meals. Spouses and Soldiers bring food to the table as we all find some floor space to share a meal.
Each Troop and Company organizes their Roll-In Days differently. Sometimes Soldiers arrive to the Troop area with burgers already on the grill, just begging for them to start lining up. For some, Roll-In dinners are themed, and the units with more eccentric leaders out there may find themselves greeted by a Commander in a giant bunny suit in spring. Other units take it easier, with a simple spread of themed food from some particular cuisine.
Regardless of how any unit chooses to organize its day, and its dinner, for everyone, there comes a time that the Squadron and Regimental leadership will come rolling through the front doors, greeted by a resounding, “Troop! Attention!” The Regiment’s leadership makes an effort every time to visit all the units and ensure the Soldiers know they are appreciated. Everyone reminisces, perhaps, about that time the Commander’s driver shouted “Chicken and waffles!” from under the camo net when the Regimental Commander asked the Troop Commander, “What do you all need?” Or perhaps that glorious attack, when 3rd Platoon penetrated the main body of the enemy and got a picture of themselves with the (notionally dead) Rotational Brigade Commander.
We all join together in a time-honored tradition of breaking bread and sharing a laugh; and, at the end of the night, the Troops gather around their Commanders and First Sergeants for some last words of wisdom and praise, before returning to their families for a good night’s rest.