Georgia's Troop E Ends Cav Tradition   printer  

Courtesy of Georgia National Guard Public Affairs

By SSG Roy Henry
Courtesy of Georgia National Guard Public Affairs

12/12/06, Griffin, GA The day marked an end and a beginning; a transition from one tradition to another as Troop E, 108th Cavalry, cased its regimental flag and retired its time-honored red and white guidon on Sunday, Nov. 19. A unit from 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry will be take up residence at this city's National Guard Armory as the Georgia Army Guard begins re-stationing units across the state. The Griffin unit remains part of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

With this transition, CPT John Alderman, who commanded Troop E, moves to an instructor position at the Guard's Regional Training Institute in Macon. Command of the new unit is the responsibility of 1LT Don Thompson.

A crowd of more than 60 local citizens, families, friends, politicians and fellow Soldiers watched as 'the Cav' exchanged its old standard for a new flag. Among them were LTC John King, who once commanded the unit; State Sen. John Douglas, chairman of the Senate Military and Veteran's Committee and a long-time friend and supporter of the 108th; and LTC Mark London, commander 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, of which the Griffin unit is now a

Later in the ceremony, those Soldiers wearing the traditional cavalry hat in ranks removed them and put on the Army beret.

"We transition today to a new mission, a new unit with a new focus," CPT Alderman told his troopers. "Carry with you the things you have learned, and put them to use as we moved forward.

"That, he said, "would be good and fitting, a proper tribute to the cavalrymen who have gone before you."

His statement was answered by a collective "Come what may" from the unit.

This "reflagging" of the 108th, which has been in Griffin for more than 35 years, isn't the first time for this unit. According to its history, the troop has been the 196th Cavalry, then the 348th. The only thing that remained constant, until now, was it's mission to act as the eyes and ears of the 48th Infantry.

"It would be easy to say, 'well it's just cloth,'" CPT Alderman commented after the ceremony as he stood looking solemnly at his unit's cased colors. "No one other than a cav trooper might understand the feeling, the emotion that flag stirs in us.

"Men have died defending regimental colors because they represent those who have gone before, men who dedicated themselves to something much larger than themselves," he said. "I have no doubt every soul here will do same no matter what unit flag they follow."

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Copyright 2006 GX: The Guard Experience magazine,

12/12/2006, 3:03 PM