KILLEEN — Members of 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, visited their adopt-a-school last week to teach students about the unit’s history.

As part of Black History Month, soldiers taught Ellison High School history classes about the buffalo soldiers of the 9th Cavalry Regiment using visual aids from the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and answered questions about everything from history to life in today’s Army.

“It’s very educational, even for the soldiers, to sit through this presentation,” said Comanche Troop’s Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Sanders. “There’s a lot of stuff we don’t know anymore.”

African American soldiers in the cavalry were all assigned to the 9th and 10th regiments, formed in 1866. Eventually they earned the nickname “buffalo soldiers” by Native Americans.

Leonardo Espinoza, an Ellison senior, said he liked hearing the history presentation. His sister is in the Army, but not in the cavalry, he said, so he hadn’t heard some of this history.

“It’s cool to know that you can still get in touch with the past,” he said. “It’s really generous of them, because they don’t have to do this.”

Tara Cherizard, an AP U.S. History teacher at Ellison, said she found the soldiers’ knowledge of their unit interesting.

“It was interesting for me to watch the students look at me when they heard something they learned in history class,” she said. “We just covered the Indian Wars a couple of weeks ago.”

Cherizard said she’s also had soldiers come to her classroom to speak about similar topics.

“I think it’s a great thing when they see the opportunities out there they are not aware of. They live near Fort Hood so they know about the Army, but they don’t know the history,” she said. “We appreciate any time they come out and interact with our students in a positive way.”

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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