FORT HOOD, TX (FOX 44) – Celebrations are going on at Fort Hood today to honor the 1st Battalion, Ninth U.S. Cavalry Division. Historically known as the Buffalo Soldiers, founded in 1866, black servicemen joined the regiment two years after the civil war ended to fight for the United States.

“They fought on the frontier, moved on to the Spanish-American war, and have been with us in every conflict throughout history,” said LTC James Ray, 1-9 Battalion Commander.

To celebrate 156 years, the cavalry celebrated in the morning with physical training programs, rucking, and soldier skill challenges.

In the afternoon, they held a history lesson and discussion on how far they’ve come. “I think it’s important that as a part of the organization, we understand the history and we celebrate it because we are going to continue adding to it for decades to come,” said CPT Samuel Phelps, 1-9 Gulf Commader.

“I’ve heard soldiers talk to me about how how much it means to them to be part of this battalion,” said CPT Scott Peterson, 1-9 Bravo Commander. “Learning the the history of all the incredible things that we’ve done has really been eye opening for them.”

While slicing cake and enjoying fellowship at the end of the day, Command Sergeant Major Craig Black said being a part of this group is something he always wanted.

“I grew up hearing stories about them…so now I get to be a part of the legacy and the history and tradition and the unit going forward,” said CSM Black. “My name will always be more like that being a part of this unit, so it’s a dream come true.”

Everyone we spoke with today says how important it is to never forget the past and to also honor the fallen.