Blackhorse patch, symbol of the 11th ACR, is not an insignia
which has represented the regiment throughout it's glorious
existence. It is, rather, a symbol which was adopted in
movement to obtain a patch symbolic of the Blackhorse
Regiment began at Ft. Meade, MD in December of 1965. At
that time the 11th Cavalry was a "skeleton"
regiment composed of staff officers, squadron commanders
and senior NCOs, awaiting the arrival of troops to train
for what was anticipated to be a move to Vietnam. This
period of time allowed Lt. John Casterman, 1st Platoon
leader of M company, 3rd squadron about two months to
research and draw a number of sketches for a new patch.
Ft. Meade, the men of the regiment were required to wear
the 1st Army patch (pictured at left) because armored
cavalry regiments were considered "army troops".
The only identifying insignia worn by the regiments personnel
was a patch depicting the familiar "allons"
crest on the left breast pocket.
of the Army regulations at the time stated that only separate
brigade-sized and larger units were allowed to have an
individual patch. A regiment, which is considered a smaller
unit was thus restrained from acquiring a unit insignia.
Casterman, who has a degree in graphic design, and a background
in art had held numerous conversations with LTC Peterson,
squadron commander, and Col. Cobb, The regimental commander,
on the subject of designing a regimental patch during
December '65 & January '66. Lt. Casterman shared with
them his thoughts and desires to design the unit patch.
They directed him to proceed.
Casterman began his task in a library at Ft. Meade. He
reviewed the history of the regiment, and studied the
science of heraldry. He knew that in order to have his
design approved by the Army Department of Heraldry, he
would have to familiarize himself with both of these,
and apply them to his design.
tried designs incorporating the symbols from the "allons"
crest. Designs with the cactus from the Mexico campaigns
& the crossed bolos from the Philippines just didn't
work. Finally he found a black horse that had been used
on the shields of armored knights in the middle ages.
The muscular bodied stallion provided the inspiration
for the design of the patch, direct from our predecessors,
the colors red & white from the original cavalry guidons,
along with the black battle horse gave the patch a powerful
visual punch. The Blackhorse patch was born. The patch
below is one of the first hand stitched patches from 1966.