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Color Guard attends mounted unit conference in New York

By Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Fellin | CGMCG | May 13, 2016

     Troopers, noncommissioned officers and leaders of the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard attended the North American Mounted Unit Commander’s Association conference April 22 to 24 in New York. The event was hosted by members of the prestigious New York City Police Department’s Mounted Unit.

     More than 130 people from mounted units throughout North America attended the ninth-annual conference. This is the second time representatives from the CGMCG attended the event.

     “The distinctiveness of the CGMCG mission requires that we constantly seek out unique opportunities to learn about our craft as U.S. Army equestrians,” said Capt. Casey Johnson, CGMCG commander. “The North American Mounted Unit Commander’s Association annual conference provides units like ours with just such an opportunity. … This venue provides us with an invaluable chance to learn from prestigious mounted police and military units from around the world. We leverage this opportunity to share our best practices and to maintain an ongoing relationship with mounted units similar to our own.”

     During the visit, the CGMCG attendees met with leaders, trainers and officers from the NYPD’s new Academy in Queens.

     “A lot of things that were discussed during the classes brought up some great ideas for changes we could implement in our unit,” said Sgt. Regina Thomas, CGMCG trooper. “They went over things that we never really thought of or have discussed before. The facility itself was very accommodating. The memorials were very moving and I am glad I was able to experience it. Their training area was also very nice and I enjoyed meeting the mounted patrol officers as well as their mounts.”

     CGMCG troopers, noncommissioned officers and leaders attended classes about the daily operation of the NYPD’s Mounted Patrol, starting with the history of their mounted units, which dated back to post-World War I and covered topics such as the application process and rigorous training program. The training program consists of a 12-week progressive riding academy for each candidate. Topics included leather working, large animal rescue, funding, horse candidate selection, horse training and horse retirement.

     Attendees later got a class on farrier work.

     The history of the NYPD Mounted Unit can be traced back to 1858 when former U.S. Army Cavalry Officers organized it, according to information from the association. The NYPD Mounted Unit maintains its cavalry heritage in various ways, to include organizing the mounted unit into troops, wearing uniforms modeled after those of the historic U.S. Cavalry and by maintaining red and white cavalry guidons.

     Attendees also visited the NYPD’s Remount School in the Bronx, and got a tour of the facilities, grounds and stables. Recently graduated mounted officers performed a musical ride, demonstrating the abilities they learned during their 12 weeks of training. They also conducted a class on the proper extraction of a horse from an overturned trailer.

     “Not only did we learn new and exciting equestrian skills from our NYPD counterparts, but we have already begun to implement some of their training methods into our own program, from training new recruits to the proper care of horses and the professionalism that entails.” said Sgt. Sven Kramer, CGMCG trooper.

 

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