Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
HQ, MND- South
APO AE 09374
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June, 28 2010
Commentary by Spc. David Dyer, 3-1 Cav Public Affairs Liaison
What is a Cavalry Scout?
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq – I was reading an old copy of “Armor” magazine the other day and came across an article entitled
“What is a Cavalryman?” that was written in 1969. The similarities and
differences between the Dragoon’s from over forty years ago and those of
today kept finding a way into my thoughts. I finally decided to lay
them to rest by writing a short rebuttal to that article from 1969 that
highlights the Cavalry Scout of today. I hope that you enjoy reading it
as much as I enjoyed writing it.
What is a Cavalry Scout?
Somewhere between the apple-cheeked innocence of the Armor School and the urbane worldliness of the Qatar R&R veteran, we find a
delightful creature known as a Cavalry Scout. Cavalrymen come in
assorted shapes and conditions, mostly “peak condition”. You find them
everywhere, but mostly riding through “Indian Country” on Bradley’s,
MRAPs, HMMWV’s, Strykers and Blackhawks. Local merchants love them; the
enemy hates them; the Brigade Combat Team staff tolerates them; new
platoon leaders frustrate them; infantrymen ignore them; and the combat
medics protect them.
A Cavalry Scout is confusion with profanity on his tongue … experience with three deployments under his belt … imagination with a slice of C4 in his mouth … and faith with body armor on his back.
A Cavalry Scout has the appetite of shark in feeding frenzy, the energy of a nuclear reactor, the curiosity of an old maid, the
enthusiasm of a kid in an ice cream plant, the lungs of an umpire, and
the shyness of a bull elephant in the mating season.
He likes women, beer, ice cream, Maxim magazine, e-mail from home, Surf and turf, energy drinks, mid-tour leave, hot showers, X-box, and
hot chow. He isn’t much for Dust storms, RPGs, AK-47s, IEDs, spit and
polish, broken torsion bars, MRE’s, powdered eggs, the enemy, walking,
or waiting in line.
No one else is so early in the chow line, or so often at the beverage cooler. When you want him he’s somewhere in the AO. When you don’t,
he’s hovering over your desk with 117 reasons why he should be promoted
or be allowed to go on R&R. No one else can cram into one fighting
vehicle a double basic load of ammo, 10 cases of MRE’s, two rolls of
barbed wire, 14 shaped charges, a portable TV, one chaise lounge, three
coolers, five cartons of cigarettes, an empty tool bag, six i-pods,
three heavy machine guns, an X-box, and a pair of fuzzy dice for luck.
A Cavalry Scout is a shameless scrounge and ruthless forager. If an object will make his life more comfortable, or make him more mission
capable, he will find the means to obtain it. Do not ask where he got
the swimming pool and the two extra 25mm barrels for your Bradley. You
don’t want to know.
A Cavalry Scout is a fabulous creature. You can keep him out in the field, but you can’t keep him out of the “town”. You can frustrate his
desires, but you can’t frustrate his drive. You can top his jokes, but
you can’t top his combat record. He’s your conscience, your shadow, your
second set of eyes, your psychiatrist, and your despair. But when the
chips are down and the bullets ricochet off your track, he’s your pride
and joy, your fair-haired boy; a slashing, hard-charging bundle of nerve
and sheer guts.
When you return from three days of hard fighting, trudge wearily through the dust to your cot, and finally settle down with a hot cup of
coffee, he can bring tears to your eyes with those tender, sympathetic,
and understanding words, “Gee, I sure am sorry about your gun truck,
sir, but we were just trying to beat the tanks to the fuel point ……”.
I am happy to have been your wing-man Max!
If You Ain't Cav....
An old infantry Soldier died and went to Heaven.
At the Pearly Gates he was greeted by Saint Peter, “Hey! Glad to see you made it! You deserved to come to Heaven and we need more ‘grunts’ up here.”
The old grunt smiled and was about to step into Heaven when he stopped and said, “Saint Pete, you don't have any CAV up here, do you? They picked on me my whole career, throwing MRE's, beer, and Coke cans at me as they rode by. I hate CAV!"
"No way!" said Saint Peter. “There’s no ‘CAV’ here. They stay down at "Fiddlers Green.”
So the old grunt stepped into Heaven and immediately saw a gigantic cloud with a gun tube sticking out of it. The old grunt heard all hell breaking loose - girls laughing and screaming, raucous music playing, and bottles breaking. “Hey! That's CAV! You lied to me!”
“No, no, no,” said Saint Peter. “That's mechanized infantry.”
The old grunt took no more than a few steps when he heard an even louder racket coming from another cloud. which had an even bigger gun tube sticking out of it. “That's CAV,” he screamed hysterically.
“Calm down,” said Saint Peter. “That's the field artillery -- the guys that used to bail you out when things got rough on the battlefield.”
So the old grunt took a few more steps and was immediately confronted by an up-armored Humvee screaming around the corner, the gunner hunched over his Ma Deuce, firing bursts and tossing frags everywhere. The TC wore a Stetson, was holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left hand and a beautiful blonde in his lap. Crossed sabers were painted on the gun shield, and a guidon whipped from the antenna.
“CAV! CAV! That's the CAV!,” screamed the old grunt.
“NAW,” said Saint Peter. “That's GOD. He just thinks He's CAV.”
Roger that and ahmen.
The Cavalry Scout is the commander's eyes and ears on the battlefield. When information about the enemy is needed, they call on the Scouts. Cavalry Scouts engage the enemy with anti-armor weapons and scout vehicles in the field, track and report enemy movement and activities, and will direct the employment of various weapon systems onto the enemy.
Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:
Performs duties as crewmember, operates, and performs operator maintenance on scout vehicles. Armored Airborne Reconnaissance Vehicle, and Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, crew-served weapons, and communications equipment. Loads, clears, and fires individual and crew-served weapons. Operates and performs operator maintenance on wheeled vehicles. Assists in the recovery of wheeled and tracked vehicles. Secures, prepares, and stows ammunition on scout vehicles. Performs mounted and dismounted navigation. Serves as member of observation and listening post. Gathers and reports information on terrain features and enemy strength, disposition and equipment. Applies principles of except and evasion. Collects data for the classification of routes, fords, tunnels, and bridges. Performs dismounted patrols Employs principles of cover and concealment and camouflage. Assists with construction of light field fortifications, laying and removal of mines, and emplacing demolitions. Performs dismounted patrols. Requests and adjusts indirect fire.
Supervises scout vehicle crew, cavalry fighting vehicle crew, and M551A1 crew. Supervises operator maintenance of tracked and wheeled scout vehicles and individual and crew-served weapons. Selects, organizes, and supervises scout vehicle recovery operations. Trains scout vehicle crew. Supervises request, receipt, storage, and issue of ammunition. Leads scout vehicle crew and assists in leading scout squad. Serves as gunner, on CFV, ITV, TOW jeep, HMMWV, and M551A1.......These are the official duties what about the unofficial duties of a Cav. Scout They still know how to keep the Scouts busy dont they. Times change Scoutin don't