A LITTLE HISTORY
In 1990, when the 3rd Armored Division was deployed to Desert Storm, 22,533 members of the unit marched into it together. This massive amount of manpower and weaponry left in its wake—after just 100 hours—three Iraqi divisions and a lesson learned around the world that no one should think about fighting the kind of tremendous combat power the United States represents.
In light of that important lesson, United States forces continue Operation Inherent Resolve today against an antagonistic Islamic State, in an entirely different manner. Retired Lieutenant General Paul Funk explains, “Fighting above squad level is our thing. They know they won’t defeat us in a real war, so they pick at us with terrorism, which can happen anywhere, and we let our Special Forces make sure it’s only once.”
This new kind of combat requires a major paradigm shift in our nation’s warfighting, and it is important we never forget the combined-arms concept that defined our military might since 1776.
The National Mounted Warrior Museum will be a clear picture of how things happened from the beginning of mounted warfare. Its vision is for visitors to understand our past and present because today’s military is no longer training for what we did before. Future generations need to understand how we did it, so we will be able to do it again.
General Funk asks, “In Desert Storm, we had 15 years to build the Army that won. We have since lost a lot of what would have been our senior leadership today. Whom do we have anymore that knows how to command units with 3,000 tanks and personnel to run them? Now, and for the past 20 years, we’ve been kicking down doors and fighting under 30 people at a time. Our President is beginning to rebuild our machine, and we need future generations to remember how we did it.”
General Funk and his board of directors at the National Mounted Warfare Foundation want to ensure we never forget the bravery, ingenuity and sacrifices of the people who not only rode into battle on horses and trucks, in tanks and helicopters, but also those who engineered, transported and protected the weaponry and intelligence alongside the fighters. The Foundation is building a world-class museum just outside Fort Hood to honor those soldiers and tell their stories. The vision is to represent the mounted warfare of our nation through the lens of Fort Hood history; including all of the units that have been stood up there through the years.
This is the story of the mounted soldiers’ combined team efforts,
a force for freedom so many times in our nation’s history
General Funk says, “We are going to tell our soldiers’ stories so there will always be a place that details not just how our Army fights, but how Fort Hood units over the years have contributed.“
The museum will have static displays, weaponry, classrooms, video kiosks with personal histories, simulators, and live demonstrations by the horse cavalry platoon and much more. There will also be play areas, canteens and event space for formal entertaining or retreats.
Not only will the museum be free to the public, it is outside the post perimeter, and its location puts it within 60 miles of more than 130 schools; making it an ideal field trip full of unique experiences. “Gone are the days when everyone had a military member in the family,” says Gen. Funk. “Only 4 percent of our population have served. This exposure will provide kids with a legacy of service no longer so present in everyday life. We want to inspire and instill the principles of service and honor our military represents, whether in the armed forces or elsewhere.”
Less than an hour from Georgetown, and an easy hop from I-35, the museum will be a great activity for visitors and an economic boon to the local economy as restaurants and hotels enjoy the uptick in tourism.
Be A Part of it
General Funk hopes everyone will realize they can make a difference. From a personalized brick to sponsoring an entire classroom, every donation will help make this priceless experience a reality and demonstrate to large grantors that the community is excited and committed to preserving this history. A small staff and many volunteers are ensuring that operation costs remain low. “Everything will have the potential to be named, so people can even sponsor a tree,” he adds. “We don’t want to lose the things that have been taught to earlier generations.”
It’s not about the artifacts and technology. it really comes down to the
human aspect and stories that allow visitors to step into history. That’s what makes it real. it has always been about camaraderie and knowing,
you’re not fighting for a cause or against an enemy…
You’re fighting for the person next to you.
Visit NMWFoundation.org to donate or find out more.