MICHAEL GILBERT; The News Tribune

Over the last 30 years, the Army has had units it called ‘cavalry’ travel to the fight by helicopter, tank, Humvee, armored personnel carrier and even parachute.

So what’s the big deal now that they’re putting The Cav in Strykers?

“No problem at all”, said retired Maj. Gen. Robert Wagner.

“I am a cavalryman. I served as a platoon leader on up to regimental commander”, he told the assembled ranks of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment on Thursday, as they were formally welcomed to Fort Lewis.

“I want everyone to understand. You are still cavalrymen!”┬áThe regiment brought out Wagner, the 60th commander in its 169-year history, and all its other horse-soldier trappings to stake its place again at Fort Lewis.

After 47 years in Germany, the regiment was here briefly in the early 1990s, before moving to Fort Polk, La. It traded in the tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles it used to lethal effect in Operation Desert Storm for the Humvees its troops rode in Haiti and Bosnia.

Now the Army is moving the regiment back up to Fort Lewis, where by December 2006, it is scheduled to complete a makeover to become the service’s fourth Stryker brigade combat team.

About 2,000 of the regiment’s Soldiers are here. The remaining 1,900 will arrive by December, said the current and 73rd commander, Col. Jon Lehr.

They will be working to fit in at a post that for the past several years has become the infantry’s turf.

Sometimes the culture clashes among the Army’s branches are overblown, but there’s definitely a Cav way of doing things.

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