The "Coat Of Arms" for the 11th US Cavalry was adopted by the Secretary of
War on December 12, 1934. This crest reflects the history of the 11th Cavalry which
began in 1901 and first saw service in the Philippines. The crossed blue handled
swords called "bolos" were prominent during the Philippines campaign. The
red in the blades represents the blood of the fallen enemy.
The green cactus represents the Regiment's service in Mexico and in Gen. Pershing's
Punitive Expedition of 1916. The Regiment's symbol, a black horse, is represented by
a horse's head at the top of the crest. Black and gold are the Regimental colors and
the Regiment's motto "Allons" is embroidered below the shield.
Arms: Or, within an orle sable in chief two bolos saltire wise gules hilted
aszure and base a cactus proper.
Crest: Upon a wreath of the collors a horse's head erased sable.
Allons "Let's Go"
In 1920, the Regiment adopted its motto - Allons. When translated it means,
"Let's Go". A contest was held to choose a motto. Entries came from
the officers and men of the Regiment. Captain John N. Merrill, then Commanding
Officer of H Troop submitted the winning entry. This motto not only survives today
but is frequently used by the men of the 11th both past and present.
In February, 2008 John Merrill, Grandson of Captain Merrill, writes that
his grandfather served in the Philippine Constabulary. Prior to WW I he
engaged in the training of the Shah of Iran's troops. John has memories
of his grandfather turning over to the Army a flag of the 11th Cavalry.
He believes it was at Ft. Meade, Maryland. John hopes that someday he
and his siblings will write their grandfather's story.
"Allons", the Regimental Song of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Sung to the tune, "The Bonnie Blue Flag" this stirring melody recounts the
history of the regiment in prose. Click on the blue and yellow Allons banner above
to read (or sing, if you wish) the song we Blackhorse Troopers love so much.
Armored Cavalry Regiment
This Department of the Army approved shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized
during the Vietnam war to be worn on the left uniform shoulder sleeve by members of the
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. On the normal olive drab fatigue uniforms these were
worn in full color but in Vietnam, they were worn as subdued colors.
Following Operation Desert Storm, once a soldier had left the regiment for another
unit, the patch was authorized to be worn on the right uniform shoulder sleeve with the
horse revered so that it faced forward. This was not the case in Vietnam. The
insignia was authorized for wear on the right shoulder sleeve but the horse was not
The patch was designed by Lt. John Casterman, M Company in 1965 at Ft. Meade, MD and
adopted the following year. Lt. Casterman possessed skills as an artist and graphic
designer and after several designs that incorporated elements from the official crest, Lt.
Casterman settled on the black stallion on a chevron of red and white - the colors of the
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Olive Drab (OD)
The subdued shoulder patch similar to the above was worn on jungle fatigue
uniform sleeves on the left side as the patch above. Like the Blackhorse patch of
the rearing stallion the patch was various shades of olive drab (dark green). If you
have other examples of this patch and would like to submit
it I would be happy to display it here.
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Desert Drab (DD)
The subdued shoulder patch similar to the above was worn on fatigue uniform
sleeves on the left side by members of the 11th ACR who saw action in "Desert
Storm". Like the Blackhorse patch of the rearing stallion this patch was made of
various shades of light brown and black.