[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     January 14, 2011
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Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club members talk with ChalleNGe Academy cadets

Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

ChalleNGe Academy cadets at Fort McCoy had a special two-course treat in mid-December.

One, they were let loose at the McCoy’s Community Club buffet; two, they met Buffalo Soldiers local club members who talked about a mentorship program. Buffalo Soldiers gained fame as the first all-African-American U.S. Army unit to serve together as one group.

PHOTO: Antonio McDaniel talks to ChalleNGe Academy cadets during lunch at McCoy’s Community Club. Photo by Tom Michele
Antonio McDaniel talks to ChalleNGe Academy cadets during lunch at McCoy’s Community Club. McDaniel, a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, was one of several club members explaining the club’s activities and how it may relate to the cadets. McDaniel is a sergeant first class and a training exercise coordinator with the 181st Infantry Brigade.

Larry Giles, president of the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers, and club member Brian McGlothan conducted the majority of the event that included brief profiles from several club members and a slide presentation about the history of Buffalo Soldiers through present-day club activities.

The organization started when African-American Soldiers formed into the 9th and 10th Calvary in 1866, serving mostly in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states in the early years, through 1950 when African-Americans were integrated into the U.S. Armed Forces.

“We are celebrating the past, bridging the future and keeping the legacy alive,” Giles said.

About a dozen members of the Northwest Wisconsin Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club hosted the buffet lunch for the cadets and then talked about club mentorship and partnership with the academy.

Giles is a sergeant first class and an instructor at the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC).

McGlothan, a major, is the operations officer at the 86th Training Command. The local club has 18 members, mostly Soldiers or employees at Fort McCoy.

The club is one of 91 chapters in the U.S., with one each in Canada and Australia.

“Starting a mentoring program and partnership with the academy is our first venture,” McGlothan told the cadets — though the 26 attending graduated Dec. 18. There were 108 that graduated from the class.

The first class at the academy started in September 1998. Cadets are 16-years-nine-months-old up to 19-years-old. The 22-week classes are from January to June and July to December.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard administers and conducts the program.

Club members emphasized to the cadets that success in life can be attained, particularly career goals the teens are working toward, though it will take hard work and persistence.

They briefly shared some of their Army experiences, and how that has impacted their careers, with the cadets.

McGlothan has 26 years in the Army, Giles has 25.

Maj. Troy Herman, a finance and budget instructor at the ARRTC, has 16 years, and Capt. Tyron Snell, a logistics officer with the 181st Infantry Brigade, has 23 years.

They said the day’s program was not an Army recruiting effort, but they did encourage the youths to consider a military route.
Upon a quick survey of the cadets, a dozen said they are considering a military option.

Other Buffalo Soldiers addressing the cadets were Sgt. 1st Class Antonio McDaniel, with the 181st, Master Sgt. Darrel Hawkins, with the Unit Movement Officer Course, and Anthony Reeves and Lamount Robinson of the Equipment Concentration Site.

Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Rob Humphrey also spoke to the youth.

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