July 22, 2020

General Gordon R. Sullivan Conference & Event Center

2425 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA
United States


The Blackhorse in Vietnam: The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam and Cambodia, 1966–1972

When the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment came ashore at Vung Tau, South Vietnam, in September 1966, it faced a number of challenges. The enemy - Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) - was, of course, the most critical challenge. But the terrain and weather were also factors that could adversely affect the employment ofboth armored vehicles and helicopters alike.

Register for this event

The dearth of doctrine and tactics for the employment of armored cavalry in a counterinsurgency was equally challenging - especially during the pre-deployment training and initial combat operations. But just as importantly, there was an institutional bias within the Army that an insurgency was an infantryman's war. Despite the thick jungle and monsoonal rains, despite the lack of doctrinal guidance, Blackhorse leaders found a way to overcome the obstacles and accomplish the mission.



5:30pm-6:00pm: Reception & Networking

6:00pm-7:00pm: Program


About the Author

Don Snedeker is a second-generation Blackhorse Trooper.  His father, George Snedeker, served in the 11th Cavalry twice – once on horseback and once on tanks.  Don was commissioned in Armor Branch out of ROTC in February 1969.  He arrived in Vietnam in late 1969 and was briefly assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.  He served most of his Vietnam tour with the 2nd Squadron, 1st Armored Cavalry (Blackhawks), serving as an armored cavalry platoon leader and the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol platoon leader. 

In December 1974, Don was assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fulda, Germany, where he served as the regimental training officer, the 1st Squadron intelligence officer, and the commander of Bravo Troop.  From 1989 to 1990, Don served as the speechwriter for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Admiral William Crowe and General Colin Powell).  Don retired from active military service in 1992.  For the past 20 years, Don has served as the historian for the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia.