The 1st Squadron 158th Cavalry

Originally posted June 1995

As part of the 29th Infantry Division (Light), of the Maryland Army National Guard, The 1st Squadron 158th Cavalry is well known for its outstanding capabilities. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Squadron is commanded by LTC Thomas Johnson. The unit is proud of the accomplishments of its members, many of whom are actual combat veterans of conflicts from the war in Viet Nam to Panama, Grenada and Desert Storm.

In the past year, the Squadron has taken part in numerous exercises to test its readiness. Among the most rigorous was the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk , Louisiana. Troop maneuvers and soldier skills were given exceptional ratings in combat preparedness. The highly regarded air troops displayed innovative techniques which serve as models for other similar units.

Extensive knowledge of high technology from the individual soldiers enables the unit to operate at the same, or higher, state of the art proficiency level as the most elite active duty components. Yet the members of the Squadron are employed in full time civilian occupations, and take part in the National Guard only part time to serve their country. The result is a bargain for taxpayers.

In 1995, the focus of Squadron training is on adaptation to global conflicts. The two week annual training at Camp Dawson, West Virginia, simulated a peace-keeping operation in terrain which is representative of the mountainous regions of Bosnia. Operation "White Knight" is the name given to the exercise which covers the very latest in military tactics. On the day before CPT O'Grady was rescued after his F-16 was shot down by a surface to air missille, the 1/158th Cavalry practiced just that very mission of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR). Although the practice took place in West Virginia and not Bosnia, it shows that the Squadron conducts training that is not only relevant but highly realistic. On another occasion, 1LT Ed Jones of the 175th Tactical Fighter Group, MDANG brought his perspective to the Squadron during gunnery practice where he exhibited the same skills that he used near Sarajevo, when he actually attacked a Serbian position and destroyed a heavily armored target. Such real world experience is what keeps the Maryland National Guard at the forefront of U.S. defense. Also in 1995, the Squadron took part in Warfighter, which was a computerized simulation of a regional conflict on the Korean Peninsula. In this exercise, they were teamed with other units from the 29th Infantry Division, to demonstrate the command and control of forces across a wide area.

Despite the common misconception that all reconnaissance can now be performed with satellite imaging, stealth fighters and remotely piloted vehicles, the Squadron still relies on the human instinct. As cavalry tactics have evolved over time, from horses to helicopters and from swords to lasers, one concept has remained functionally valid:

Cavalry can cover vast territory with a relatively small force.

The 1st Squadron 158th Cavalry of the Maryland Army National Guard stands ready to do its part.

For more information about the 1/158th Squadron or links to various personnel within the unit,

or click here to view another page describing the unit.

1/158 IF YOU AIN'T CAV ...