11th ACVVC President
Frank T. Church, G Troop 2/11, 8/1969-8/1970
Frank T Church
By: Frank T. Church
1st Quarter, 2024
Welcome to 2024, hope you had a pleasant, warm, and happy holiday season with the ones you cherish and were able to be with over the holidays.
message this quarter is about our relationship with the Blackhorse
Association and the Active Regiment.
The Regiment and todays Blackhorse Troopers holds our heritage and the 11th ACVVC will be remembered as the Blackhorse’s finest hour. However, the entire history of the 11th ACR from the Philippines to the Border Legion and the Persian Gulf has added Battle Streamers to our flag. That heritage continues as the Regiment is now considered to be the “Top Gun” of the Army in training other units at Fort Irwin. They represent our legacy, and we support them in any way possible and we enjoy the times we share with them. The Blackhorse has always been given tough and critical missions and all those that participated are proud to be known as a Blackhorse Trooper.
The 2023 men’s Business meeting in Grand Rapids was interrupted by a challenge to our reunion selection process by an attempt to force a vote on a site that was not on the agenda. The motivation behind the effort to subvert our process was to have a reunion at the same time and place as the BHA in 2025, no matter what the consequences would be. There has been a lot of conversation over the years on this subject as well as a merger with the BHA. It has been the long-held position by the past and present leadership of the 11th ACVVC that neither is in our best interest.
The 11th ACVVC Officers and volunteers work hard to present the most affordable places to hold a reunion balanced by our requirements and what a particular site offers or does not offer. It takes 2 years and a huge amount of work by many people to select a site that we think will be the best place to visit. Throwing out all that work and negotiating power with the hotels that make the cut is not good business. If we predetermine where to hold a reunion then go to that property management and tell them we are coming we lose that power and will not get what we need in meeting space, costs, room rates or the concessions we would normally get in incentives.
That does not rule out the possibility that the future may present an opportunity that would be an appropriate time to plan an event involving both organizations and would be beneficial to all Blackhorse Troopers, but that would be done following our current selection process, a process that has proven to be the most effective way to plan our reunions.
I hear a lot of “we need to do more together” from the BHA. We have done much in the past and I am open to opportunities to do so in the future, we will discuss those possibilities as they arise, but I cannot allow any such events to be forced upon us.
An example of “doing more together for our mutual benefit” is our collaboration on a project lead by the Regiment to build a memorial at Ft. Irwin and is supported by the BHA and the 11th ACVVC. The intent is to connect todays Troopers to the 11th ACR history and to the men that made that history. This is in the early stages of planning, and we will have more information as the project develops.
I have much respect for all Blackhorse Troopers no matter where or when they served, we are all brothers. But the 11thACVVC has a very special bond with each other that cannot be felt with anyone else. A bond that can only be made on the battlefield and can never be broken. That is why we have our reunion every year. We meet to share memories of our life in Vietnam where we laughed, cried, and mourned together. We share memories and stories that are unique to each of us, yet they are all the same. We honor our brothers that fell in Vietnam as well as remember those we have lost since. We also celebrate being together again and it has become a family reunion as we share these times with our wives or significant others, children, grandchildren, KIA families and special guests. I sincerely hope that the Iraq-Afghanistan-Persian Gulf Troopers have the same bond among themselves and that they meet to share their special bond.
All Troopers of the 11ACR, past and present, are welcome to join us at our reunions. Many BHA members and active-duty Troopers do join us, and we have a great time celebrating our brotherhood.
These are a lot of changes to absorb but it is
vital to maintain the organization into the future. The 11ACVVC
still has life in it, let’s continue to enjoy good times together.
"We were, we are, and will always be “Blackhorse Troopers”!