FORT HOOD, Texas – Rolling by Battalion Avenue between T.J. Mills
and 56th Street, a glance to the right would reveal what might
appear to some people to be a graveyard — a resting place for
long-forgotten military vehicles.
Those vehicles have been
retired from their days of hauling and transporting Soldiers and
equipment, but they are far from forgotten.
Spc. David Vass (bottom) and Spc. Telvin Mathews (top), both
with 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,
1st Cavalry Division, place tape around parts of the M-3 Light Tank
“Stuart” prior to painting Sept 24, 2014 at Fort Hood, Texas. Vass, a
Tampa, Fla., native and Mathews, a Birmingham, Ala., native, prepped
and painted the tank in order to restore it as part of the
Adopt-a-Vehicle program at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. (U.S.
Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 3rd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)
The 3rd BCT “Greywolf,” 1st Cavalry Division, is
fulfilling its role in restoring and maintaining static
vehicles displayed at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum as a
part of the Fort Hood Adopt-a-Vehicle program.
Adopt-a-Vehicle program provides for the distribution of all
historical vehicles among the division's three brigades, the
3rd Cavalry Regiment, and other tenant units on post,” said
Steven Draper, director of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum.
“It's been a lot of work, but we are beginning to see some
The 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry
Regiment from the Greywolf brigade took its turn to
replenish the luster that adds to the tradition and history
embedded in these vehicles.
“The 3rd Brigade has
played a big role with the progress made from the program,”
said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kirk, the noncommissioned officer
in charge of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. “The 6-9 Cav.
is now renovating vehicles.”
As the exhibits live
outside and are subjected to weather extremes, they are
prone to rust as the paint fades and loses it protective
When searching for parts and conducting
repairs, the museum staff focuses on retaining the historic
integrity of the vehicles.
“If we have someone weld
parts onto a vehicle, we do our best to make sure it's
necessary,” said Kirk. “It has to be done right.”
green is the main color of most every exhibit, the tint is
not just a random choice for any vehicle. According to Kirk,
the color of each exhibit is determined based upon the era
in which the vehicle was produced.
“The paint really
pops, and the star is a really crisp white,” said Kirk in
reference to the M-41 Light Tank, also known as the
“Bulldog” recently restored by 6-9 Cav Soldiers. Soldiers
restored it using time period paint to bring out unique
features of the vehicle.
According to AR 850-5, dated
Aug. 5, 1942, military equipment during that time used a
prominent white five-pointed star to symbolize vehicles
assigned to tactical units. Even with having to research and
duplicate historically accurate colors, the process to paint
vehicles is still relatively simple.
wash the vehicles, tape up certain areas, and paint,” said
Kirk. “The only expenses are the supplies, as opposed to
hiring contractors like the museum used to do.”
send a five-Soldier detail to work at the museum for about
five days to complete these tasks.
“It's a great day
to be out here working on the vehicles,” said Spc. Telvin
Mathews, a Birmingham, Alabama, native and unit supply
specialist with 6-9 Cavalry, 3rd BCT. “This is a unique
detail to be on.”
Under the supervision and direction
of the museum staff, Soldiers focus on the vehicles that
need the most work and then move on to others.
program can only be successful if dedicated NCOs and junior
enlisted crews are willing to take on the project and make
it their own,” said Draper.
With help from the 6-9
Cavalry, 3rd BCT, the 1st Cavalry Division Museum is able to
maintain and enhance static displays for visitors wanting to
experience the richness of its storied history.
By U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf
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