We will start with Allons. Yes, it is a French word. Now I have to admit that I used to think French was a rather tutti-frutti language. This may have had something to do with growing up surrounded by staunch republican conservatives, because as we all know staunch republican conservatives despise the French and there liberal European shenanigans. Anyway, translated into our own language Allons means "Let's Go". I most likely would have never learned of this term if it hadn't been for the good old US Army. Back in my Army ROTC days I attended LDAC (Leader Development and Assessment Course). In my regiment, whenver a Cadet was approached by an Officer, they would salute and give the greeting "Blackhorse, Sir" or "Ma'am". The Officer would salute back and in return give the greeting "Allons". This was all because my regiment was affiliated with the U.S. Army’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Here is a little history provided by U.S. Army Cadet Command:
Organized on Feb. 2, 1901, the Black Horse regiment first saw combat with General Arthur Macarthur against the tribal insurrections in the Philippine islands in 1902. Ordered into battle a decade later, the Black Horse regiment served as the vanguard for General “Blackjack” Pershing’s punitive expedition into Mexico.
The Black Horse colors were next unfurled in combat on the beaches of Normandy. Spearheading General George Patton’s epic charge across France, the Black Horse distinguished itself during the 3rd Army’s unparalleled winter offensive in relief of the besieged 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. The Blackhorse culminated its valorous war service in participation with Patton’s massive flanking maneuver across central Europe.
At the request of General William Westmoreland, commander, Military Assistance Command, the Black Horse regiment arrived in Vietnam in September 1966. They carried the distinct honor of being the only armored cavalry regiment to see battles in Indochina.
In 1972, the Black Horse regiment assumed its mission of defending the Fulda Gap on the frontier of freedom, protecting NATO’s eastern border in the Federal Republic of Germany. As a result of the disintegration of eastern Europe’s communist regimes, the Black Horse regiment ceased its border operation when the border between East and West Germany opened in 1990.
In May 1991, the 11th was directed to deploy to Kuwait as part of Operation Positive Force. From June to September, the regiment secured the peace on the sands of Kuwait.
Among the regimental honors are the Presidential Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit commendations.
This unit served in Northern Iraq from January 2005 – 17 March 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.