Fort Riley, Kansas



Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard emphasize history, tradition

By Season Osterfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | September 29, 2017

     From the still standing limestone buildings of the 1800s to tall monuments and everything in between, preserving history is part of everyday life at Fort Riley. Another part of that preservation is the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard.

    Fall Apple Day festival Sept. 23 at Artillery Parade Field featured three demonstrations by the CGMCG, an officer’s encampment re-enactment and a wagon ride for visitors.

     “We have the modern wagon being pulled by our two patron drafts, Jenny and Joy,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Fellin, CGMCG. “We have the period encampment, which is an officer’s camp.”

      The wagon ride took visitors around the parade field, and offered their feet a rest while they took in the sights of the festival.

 In the encampment, Soldiers dressed in period attire stood ready to answer questions and educate curious visitors on the lifestyle Soldiers lived in the cavalry days. Saddle bags filled with the items Soldiers would have carried, from pipes to shaving equipment, sat out on display.

     “A lot of people come to Fort Riley and they were at posts that didn’t have this before, so it’s a good experience for them to learn about the history of the Army in the cavalry days by representing them using fully period clothing,” Fellin said. “It’s not just entertainment, it’s the history behind it.”

     However, the biggest crowd draw were their demonstrations. Six Soldiers of the CGMCG performed with their mustangs and quarter horses. Together, they demonstrated synchronization skills, speed, agility and accuracy. Their performance featured jumps, sabers, period pistols and a period rifle.

     In one demonstration, as the horse race through the course working with their rider to complete jumps and obstacles, the rider fired at balloons with pistols. The balloons represented enemy targets.

      During this performance, Staff Sgt. William Medlin, CGMCG, received a special treat. The balloons were swapped out for him, replaced with another more opaque set of balloons. Inside of them was a powder. If he could successfully shoot the balloons, he would find out the sex of the child he and his wife were expecting.

       He shot the first of the new balloons he approached. Blue powder came billowing from it. That baby is a boy.

       Observers of the performance said they were impressed by the skills of the CGMCG.

     “The saber stuff — the dexterity stuff was amazing,” said Pfc. Bryan Long, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

     Fellin said their objective through these demonstrations is to not only teach people history and tradition, but also show them Fort Riley still has it.

     “We represent ... Fort Riley and the 1st Infantry Division,” he said. “We represent old cavalry and the old heritage of Fort Riley. This is not only to ride horses and for people’s entertainment, but we want to get the word out that we’re here.”

      And other spectators agreed history and tradition were important to continue.

      “I think it’s good to actually have everywhere because every post needs to know their history,” said Berisha Etheridge, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Etheridge Jr., 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st ABCT.


Tag Fall Apple Day Festival 2017