2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs Office
Honoring heroes
The M-777 howitzers bearing the names of Regimental Medal of Honor winners, are moved in to firing position for the naming ceremony. (U.S. Army photo)(click on photo to see larger views)

Vilseck, Germany –The 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment’s FIRES Squadron gathered Thursday Nov. 20, to honor some of the outstanding Troopers from the Regiment’s rich history.

FIRES became the first unit in European Command to receive the new M-777 towed, lightweight 155mm howitzer. It has long been customary for gun crews to name their weapons when they receive them. In keeping with 2SCR’s tradition of remember the past, Fires Squadron decided to honor those Soldiers of the Regiment who were awarded the Medal of Honor for valor and bravery.

The guns bear the names of the following Troopers:

Capt.Theophilus F. Rodenbough (Civil War 11 June 1864) , 1st Sgt. Conrad Schmidt (Civil War 19 September 1864), Pvt. Edward R. Hanford (Civil War, 9 October 1864) , Pvt. Heth Canfield (Indian Wars, 15 May 1870) , Pvt. Michael Himmelsback (Indian Wars, 15 May 1870), Pvt. Thomas Hubbard (Indian Wars, 15 May 1870) , Pvt. George W. Thompson (Indian Wars, 15 May 1870), Sgt. Patrick Leonard (Indian Wars, 15 May 1870), Pvt. Samuel Phillips (Indian Wars, 07 May 1877), Cpl. Harry Garland (Indian Wars, 07 May 1877), Farrier William H. Jones (Indian Wars, 07 May 1877), 1st Sgt. Henry Wilkens (Indian Wars, 07 May 1877), Pvt. William Leonard (Indian Wars, 07 May 1877), Pvt. Wilfred Clark (Indian Wars, 09 August 1877), 2nd. Lt. Edward McClernard (Indian Wars, 20 September 1877), Sgt. T.B. Glover (Indian Wars, 10 April 1879), 2nd Lt. Lloyd Brett (Indian Wars, 01 April 1880), and Cpt. Eli Huggins (Indian Wars, 01 April 1880).

During the ceremony, each Battery designated one senior noncommissioned officer to read the names of the Medal of Honor recipients and tell how they earned their medal. The event concluded with a celebratory 21-gun salute.

The M-777 is an advanced, towed lightweight 155mm howitzer that meets increased operational needs for mobility, survivability, sustainability, and deployment. The M-777 provides accurate, reliable, responsive, and all terrain close supporting fires to maneuver forces.

A key component of the M-777 is the Digital Fire Control System which allows for self-locating, self-aiming and self-pointing capability. Non-digitized M-777 howitzers with optical fire control were first delivered to the Marine Corps in 2004, and a fully digital upgraded model (designated M-777A1) was delivered to selected Army units beginning in 2005. The M-777 models will be the main artillery system for the Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

The M-777 howitzer is designed to be towed by any 4×4 vehicle with capacity greater than 2.5 tons and is capable of being transported by both fixed-wing and rotary wing air assets.

A key advantage allowing for this wide range of mobility is the fact that the M-777 howitzer is made of titanium to achieve its light weight and high performance. The M-777 is 7,000 lbs. lighter than the M-198 howitzer model it replaced. Combined with the newly developed Excalibur projectile, the M-777 will be capable of delivering GPS precision strike capability at extreme ranges.

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