The scholarship program was initiated by the Association in 1967 during the Vietnam War in response to requests from the Sergeants Major of the Division who committed their support to perpetuation of the program.
A trust agreement was signed on 16 August 1968 establishing the Foundation. Since that time, no child of a Trooper that has been killed or disabled has been turned away for lack of funds. Between the generous donations of Association members and scholarship drives within the Division, the Cavalry has taken care of its own. In the 1970s, in response to a perceived downtrend in applications from the aging children of the Division's Troopers that were killed in action from the Vietnam war, eligibility was expanded to children of Association members killed or disabled while on active duty with the Division. This extension produced an unexpected response from Vietnam veterans who were still producing children. In 1988, again at the behest of the Division Sergeants Major, the program was expanded further to include soldiers and spouses of soldiers while assigned or attached to the Division and in 1996 children of active duty soldiers assigned to the Division were added to the list of those eligible. The Foundation assumed responsibility for the Ia Drang program in early 1994 and awarded the first grant from this program in 1997.
Since its inception, the Foundation has provided:
Over $783,000 to 488 children of Troopers that were killed in action or totally and permanently disabled
Over $269,000 to 277 active duty Troopers and their family members
Over $553,000 to 227 descendents of the Ia Drang battles
Scholarships that began at $300 per year currently provide $1,200 per year with a maximum of $4,800 for four years of schooling per student.
Funding for the program, less the Ia Drang element, derives primarily from the Foundation's primary investment portfolio, the annual Division fund drive and random donations from the membership and those interested in providing support for education. The Association annually provides $12,000 to satisfy projected shortfalls up to a predetermined maximum. All eligible candidates for grants who are children of deceased members of the Division are funded. Active Duty soldiers and their spouses and children compete for grants and selection is made annually by a board comprised of Command Sergeants Major of the Division acting in their private capacity as members of the Association. All requests for grants in this category were satisfied through school year 1996/1997, however the large number of active duty applications for school year 1997/1998 necessitated that grants be awarded in order of priority.
Funding for the Ia Drang program comes from donations specifically earmarked for this category of grant. Ia Drang funds are separately invested in a fenced program to build up an investment corpus to sustain additional grants from its proceeds.
Please mail your tax-deductible donations to the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association, 302 N. Main St., Copperas Cove, TX 76522-1703. Donations in the amount of $25 or more will be acknowledged in the SABER. Donations of $250 or more will receive a tax certificate as required by the IRS. Donations intended for the Ia Drang Fund should be made out to the Ia Drang Scholarship Fund.
For more information or an application to register for benefits send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) to the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association, 302 N. Main St., Copperas Cove, TX 76522-1703 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also print the on-line Registration Form, fill it out completely, and mail it with all of the required supporting documentation to the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association.
The application forms for Association members who are active duty Troopers currently serving with the First Team and their families is open. You can get the information about this program at Active Duty Overview. Printed forms are available at the National Headquarters in Copperas Cove and at the Crossed Sabers Chapter Souvenir Shop in the 1st Cavalry Division Museum at Fort Hood, Texas beginning on 1 March 2015.