Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

John (Juan) Santiago
  • Male
  • Big Spring, TX
  • United States

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Profile Information

What unit(s) did you serve in with the 2d Cavalry?
4th Platoon G-Troop 2nd Squadron 2nd ACR
Where were you stationed?
Fort Polk, Louisiana
What MOS or job description did you have?
19D Cavalry Scout in TOW Missile Platoon
What was your rank/title?
E-4 SPC Served as the Platoon Sgt's Gunner on a .50 cal that or you could say I was the 4-4 Golf for 4th platoon Ghost Troop Cougar Squadron 2nd ACR
What years were you assigned to the 2nd Cavalry?
2002 June to 2004 March
Tell us a little about your cav days.
I graduated 19D OSUT June 20th 2002 and was assigned to Fort Polk as my first duty station. I drove down to Louisiana with my newIy-wed and very pregnant wife at that time thinking I could check in early and get a jump on finding housing. Not knowing that when you signed into the guest hotel on post it meant you were required to report to work the very next duty day... which happened to be the following day as I got there on a sunday. Blew a weeks worth of leave on that one! I remember going through the processing office at Fort Polk and being given orders to report to 2/2 How Bat and someone saying... You're a scout? And they got you going to HowBat? Somethings wrong here... I was brought back in to the main processing office and re-assigned to G-troop 2/2 ACR. Seems everything was always a little not quite right with my whole time in the military. My DD-214 has my MOS Job Title as Calvary Scout. I never took myself to be too religious but I signed my life away so the government could make those kind of decisions for me. Went to Iraq in April 2003 as a brand new PFC about 8 months after becoming a full fledged dragoon trooper in training as an E-1. Stayed in the field practically the whole 8 months before deployment. Good training Hoo-AH! Good times. Can't say it was too good for my first marriage... but I survived! Deployed to Al Sadr City (Old Saddam City before that), Baghdad. Landed in Kuwait April 1st. Again, maybe fate was telling me something? Those were some of the best times of my life. It's cliche. It sucked living them though, and I did after all. I am proud to say I served with such a professional group of warriors, with such a time honored and colored history. As I was living the experience I remember thinking why like this God? Did I really screw up so badly in my life that I needed to go through this?!? LOL Seemed like from the day I got off the bus at the Reception Battalion at Fort Knox till my last days in Polk it was non stop go. But I know now that if it had been any other way I very well wouldn't have made it through. I know if I had it all to do over again there's nothing I would have done different. I didn't know much about my job when I enlisted. 19D Cavalry Scout. Knew it was going to be an adventure. I wasn't wrong there! I've learned to love what I tried my damndest during the time I was so honored to have been given to become though. It took a little bit of time to sink in. About 19 months into my new life. Even the dirt-bags of the unit new their stuff when they weren't drinking and fighting with everything and everyone. When it was time to put the game face on and get to work they could achieve greatness, far exceeding the standard. Might not have been good for much around garrison but they did a fine good job in the sand box where it counts. Wouldn't trade one of em. And that's what makes The Cav The Cav I guess. United States Cavalry. Second to none. No matter what era your talking about the methods may change but the men stay the same. The tradition lives on and the spirit of the professional warrior prevails. To all those who made the Cav what it is today. Toujours Pret!
Tell us a little about you now.
I am currently living in Big Spring, Texas. My wife works at the Big Spring VA here.
Name a few buddies you served with that you would like to find.
SPC Robert Jacques

John (Juan) Santiago's Photos




This was the third design of the 2d Cavalry DUI, worn from 1924-1931. The sharp points on the ends of the bottom scroll again called for a redesign.


Machine Gun Troop, 2d Cavalry; Adjutant General.

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