Story and photos by U.S. Army Sgt. Alex Romey, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office
Temple, Texas – 1st Cavalry Division “First Team” was highlighted at the Temple Chamber of Commerce 38th Annual Military and First Responder Salute at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center in Temple on Oct. 25.
Inside a great banquet hall filled with hundreds of civilian leaders, military members, veterans, first responders and organizational leaders, the 1st Cavalry Division Band and a color guard from the 1st Medical Brigade, attendees were treated to a free lunch provided by the Temple Chamber of Commerce and sponsor organizations of the annual gathering.
Roderick Henry, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, opened the event by speaking on the storied history of Temple, Fort Hood and the First Team.
Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, attended the luncheon and gave the keynote address where he described the legacy of the First Team and the importance of strong relationships between Fort Hood, the 1st Cavalry Division and the surrounding communities.
“With the help of Fort Hood, central Texas has boomed over the last few decades,” began Richardson. “It was only possible because of the chamber of commerce doing what great Texans always do, lean forward in the saddle and lead from the front.”
After his opening to acknowledge the chamber’s 38 years of dedication to honoring service members and first responders with the annual event, Richardson continued his speech by describing the current state of the First Team and what the plans are for future innovation. Richardson highlighted the unit’s accomplishments and goals, including utilizing unmanned vehicles and robotics during field exercises.
“We are undergoing a cutting-edge modernization process and force re-design,” said Richardson. “This will make the First Team the largest and most capable division in our Army; organized and equipped to fight a peer adversary in large-scale combat operations.”
Following Richardson’s remarks, the 1st Cavalry Division band performed the Armed Forces Medley, a collection of the official songs of the six services of the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans and active duty members and family members proudly stood when their song was played.
Sgt. Andrew Gross, a clarinet player with the 1st Cavalry Division Band, said that he is always proud to represent the First Team throughout Central Texas with music and that he enjoys being an ambassador for the Army and the nation.
The First Team Band, a vital community outreach and ceremonial unit at Fort Hood, performs hundreds of events annually to connect the general public with the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood and the U.S. Army.
“It’s nice to meet some of these people,” said Gangloff, Hill County Sheriff’s Department officer who attended the event. “It helps when we receive calls to have a relationship with the community and other first responders.”
The 1st Cavalry Division remains dedicated to the city of Temple and other nearby communities and will continue to be America’s First Team.
For more information about the 1st Cavalry Division, visit www.army.mil/1stcav.