LONG BEACH, Calif. — The 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted their Ironhorse Ball at the Queen Mary in Long Beach on April 24, 2019. The Ironhorse Ball, commonly known as a Military Ball, is a formal affair where Troopers bond over their unit’s heritage while socializing within their organization. The Ironhorse Ball took many months of planning, involving key leaders and the Family Readiness Groups (FRG). This concerted effort culminated with 475 Troopers and their family members in attendance. It was a festive night guaranteed to build unit cohesion and esprit de corps for years to come.
Many legends have risen through the ranks of the Ironhorse Squadron. One living legend is our honored guest speaker Cpt. (Retired) John B. Poindexter. He served as the Troop Commander of Alpha Troop during the Vietnam War in 1970 in which he ordered his Troopers to the aid of another Company pinned down by the enemy. Their actions saved lives and they were true heroes deserving recognition for their gallantry. However, three decades later, Cpt. Poindexter discovered only a handful of his 150 men received any recognition for their bravery. Frustrated, he begun an arduous task to petition for a Presidential Unit Citation. There were few men like Cpt. Poindexter who would have gone through this additional effort. He is an example of a leader who takes care of his men, even decades after relinquishing his official duties from the Army. Finally, on April 15th, 2009 the Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to Alpha Troop, 1/11th ACR. This Ironhorse Ball celebrated the 10th anniversary of a momentous occasion and welcomed back a hero for his tireless efforts in getting recognition for our unit.
For 18 straight days, 11 rotations a year, these Troopers work nonstop testing and training the Rotational Training Units in Fort Irwin, California. Rarely are there opportunities like this where Troopers can get a glance of their leaders in such relaxed atmosphere. The memories built this night would forever follow the Troopers and their family members. These Ironhorse Troopers got some well-earned and well-deserved rest.