Story by U.S. Army Master Sgt. Miriam Espinoza, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
The 1st Cavalry Division inaugurated Pegasus Troop, a reception company, in an effort to integrate and welcome Troopers and their Families into the “First Team.” On Nov. 3, the reception company held its first patch ceremony to welcome approximately 66 Troopers into the division.
“You spent your first week in Pegasus Troop because we put our people first; troopers and families,” said Maj. Gen. John Richardson, commanding general, 1CD. “We want to earn your trust by bringing you into the team the right way while also teaching you all the standards.”
An average of 500 Troopers arrive into the division every month, some are coming from Advanced Individual Training, and this is their first duty station, and for some this is their third of fourth duty station. Regardless of where they and their Families are coming from the 1st Cavalry Division’s new initiative aims at ensuring every soldier is properly integrated into the unit.
“Our program is designed to make the Troopers and their Families feel welcomed, and to take care of any problems that might have not gotten taken care of before,” said Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Dyer, operations sergeant major, 1st Cavalry Division.
The reception company will serve as a way to minimize issues that Troopers and their Families often have during a permanent change of station. Problems like finance, housing or childcare.
“The Trooper isn’t the only person that will be part of the team, their Family will also be part of the First Team,” said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Brown, non-commissioned officer in charge, Pegasus Troop. “We want to make sure the Troopers and their Family are well settled in before they arrive to their units.”
The Troopers will go through an 8-day integration program, during those eight days, the Soldiers will complete any administrative actions they need, participate in the Army Combat Fitness Test, a Leaders Reaction Course, and SHARP and EO Training among other online training and events to ensure everything is done before reporting to their units.
“I’m glad to be here, I am glad to be a part of the First Team, I am going to enjoy my time at the Great Place,” said Cpl. Douglas Sloan, light wheeled vehicle mechanic, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. Sloan, who has relocated a couple of times, is glad to see a program that welcomed him and that has already made him feel like he’s “part of a Family”
The company will also introduce Troopers to services the division and Fort Hood offer and where these services are located. Essential services like Sexual Assault/Harassment Response and Prevention Program, Chaplain, and Equal Opportunity among other programs that benefit the Troopers and their Families.
“It’s been a great experience, my first week I was getting acclimated and Pegasus Troop really helped us do that, and help us figure out where things are,” said Pvt. Dallas Aistrup, infantryman, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “This being my first duty station that was really amazing for me.”
A major effort of Pegasus Troop is teaching incoming Soldiers about the Division’s 100-years of legacy, the history and the many legends who came before them. According to Brown “It’s about building pride in the unit.”
“This big yellow patch [1st Cavalry Division patch] does something to an individual that makes him or her a better Soldier, a better team member, and a better American that he or she otherwise would have been,” said Richardson in his closing comments during the patch ceremony.
“First impressions really tell a lot, and showing up to my first duty station and having the commanding general, the command sergeant major and your unit come welcome you, it’s really great, I couldn’t ask for a better unit, I am very proud to be part of the 1st Cavalry Division,” added Aistrup, a native of Amarillo, Texas.