The Association recently learned that the United States Army Caisson Platoon has been directed by the Military District of Washington Commanding General to get rid of the unit’s white horses. This means that they will immediately stop procuring any new ones and begin phasing out the white horses currently in service.
The Association is vehemently opposed to this decision. Like most of you, we were in disbelief and caught off guard when we first heard about this seemingly unnecessary decision but we have been able to confirm that it’s true.
While the Association is extremely disappointed to learn of this plan, we believe that there is still time to change the outcome. Surprisingly, this is not the first time that senior military leadership has attempted to disband the Caisson Platoon or ironically, get rid of the white horses. Those attempts were quickly overturned due to public outcry.
THE ASSOCIATION NEEDS YOUR HELP
We humbly ask our association members, friends of the Platoon, and the public at large to help us save Caisson’s white horse team by reaching out to your Congressional representatives and miitary leadership to let them know of your opposition to this directive. We've added links below to aid you in quickly finding your Representatives contact information as well as "Sample Letters" to make the process as easy as possible. We thank you in advance for your help.
SENIOR MILITARY LEADERSHIP
Department of Defense Operator
(all offices in the National Capital Region)
Just ask to be directed to the specific office
MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
Major General Allan M. Pepin
Military District of Washington
103 3rd Avenue
Ft. Lesley J. McNair, DC SW 20319-5058
HISTORY OF THE WHITE HORSE TEAM
The tradition of using white horses on the caisson dates back long before the Old Guard returned to Ft Myer in 1948. In the 1930's, Ft Myer was actually known as a "White Horse Post" when the 3rd Cavalry and 16th Field Artillery conducted funeral mission in Arlington National Cemetery and the National Capital Region. Prior to that, white horses were historicallyused to pull ambulances druing time of war while black horses pulled the artillery.
While both caisson teams each have a very long and distinguished history, below is just a small list of State and Special funerals that the white horse teams have taken part in.
WHITE HORSE TEAM WITH THE 3rd CAVALRY/16TH FIELD ARTILLERY
1930 - President W. Howard Taft
1945 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
WHITE HORSE TEAM WITH THE US ARMYCAISSON PLATOON
1948 - John “Black Jack” Pershing
1950 - Henry “Hap” Arnold
1958 - WW2 Unknown Soldier & Korean War Unknown Soldier
1959 - John Foster Dulles
1959 - William “Bull” Halsey
1963 - President John F. Kennedy
1964 - Douglas MacArthur
1973 - President Lyndon B. Johnson
1981 - Omar Bradley
1984 - Vietnam War Unknown Soldier
2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia Crew
2006 - Casper Weinberger
2017 - John Glenn
2021 - Colin Powell
& Thousands more...
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