Soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, also known as the "Quarterhorse" Squadron, unveiled an M113 Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle during an Oct. 18 ceremony at the unit's headquarters.
"This vehicle is a tangible example of the proud history of your unit … It is indeed a touchstone to your past and present," said Robert Smith, director, Fort Riley Museums, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. "When you pass by it, please remember those who served before you and the history that they made."
The M113 was first introduced to the Army during the Vietnam War and was first used by Soldiers of the squadron during reconnaissance missions integral to the success of the division's mission.
At the ceremony, the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, as well as the 1st. Inf. Div. Band helped commemorate the unveiling of the M113. Prior to the unveiling, Smith addressed those in attendance with a short historical overview of the vehicle and the unit in Vietnam.
To relate the squadron's strength and tenacity, Smith quoted Maj. Gen. William DePuy, who commanded the 1st Inf. Div. from March 1966 to February 1967: "I know of no unit in Vietnam which has fought more gallantly or effectively. The morale, the esprit and courage of the 4th Cavalry have become legendary.
"There is no more inspiring sight or experience than to stand by the side of the road and watch one of your troopers moving forward into battle."
"In 1965 and 1966, the squadron took part in some of the Vietnam conflict's significant actions, including the Battle Ap Bua Bang (and) operations Tulsa, Shenandoah, Junction City, Manhattan and Cedar Falls," Smith quoted.
Following Smith's speech, troopers dressed in Vietnam-era fatigues unveiled the vehicle by removing camouflage nets and tarps that covered it. The vehicle was restored and painted to the fit Vietnam period in which it served.
"This vehicle is a visible connection to our history," said Lt. Col. Fredrick Dente, commander, 1st Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt. "It is a connection to our troopers of the past who served during Vietnam, and it helps to remind us of the rich history of our squadron."
The vehicle now sits in front of the squadron's headquarters, where it will be seen by Soldiers and community members.
"As the Army goes through periods of change, it is important that we salvage and display pieces of the past.
"One thing that doesn't change is our history and lineage," Dente said. "By restoring and displaying these pieces of the past, it helps Soldiers put their service into context, helping them remember those who have served in the past and helping them realize they are part of something much bigger then themselves."