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Black Jack, Last Army Horse

In today’s world of high tech equipment, and war heroes, it is easy to forget about the ones that came before us. There are a variety of unsung heroes and warriors that took part in the battles of long ago. Many of which were horses. One of the most important army horses in the United States history was Black Jack, the last Army horse of his kind. While his job was mainly symbolic in nature, he stood for an entire line of service horses that helped the United States become the country that it is today.

Historical Timeline

Black Jack was the last of a generation. He was the last Army Quartermaster issued horse, born on January 19 th, 1947. He entered the Third United States Infantry Stables at Fort Myer on November 22, 1953. During his career he took part in the funerals of hundreds of army heroes. These included: President Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Douglas MacArthur.

Black Jack retired to the stables on June 1, 1973, and was laid to rest on February 6, 1976 on the parade grounds in Fort Myer, Virginia.

The story behind the horse…

Black Jack was like many Army service horses. His breeding was unknown, and his job was to support the Army in whatever tasks needed to be done. His ancestors of course, were utilized in battle, while those of his day and age were mostly ceremonial in nature. He received his name “Black Jack” after General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, Supreme Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.

A moment to heal…

Many will agree that one of the most profound moments in Black Jack’s career was when he appeared in the funeral of John F. Kennedy. The world was devastated by the loss of their fallen leader, and that feeling was made even more real by the sight of Black Jack, walking slowly, rider less, with reverse stirrups- which symbolize a fallen hero, through the funeral procession.

 

 

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