CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq — Less time outside the wire means more time for cavalry soldiers here to custom design chariots for the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s holiday races.
Soldiers here go out on fewer patrols through nearby Al-Kut as part of the agreement signed by Iraq and U.S. officials to end America’s combat mission in Iraq. Thus, soldiers have found new ways to fill their time. Building chariots is probably one of the more productive.
The last race happened over Thanksgiving at COB Delta. Each chariot is soldier propelled and the races extend up to a half mile. The race seems to be less about who wins and more about the pageantry.
How else can you explain one unit’s soldiers donning Soviet Union-era gas masks during the first half of one race? Soldiers found the masks hidden away on base, said Capt. Josh Siefert. The chariot pictured above is clearly not built for speed, however, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Heavy Company, 2nd Squadron’s engineers still built the most bad-ass chariot we saw here.
We want to see more, though. Soldiers here said cavalry units host chariot races throughout the Army so we want to see yours. We’ll post the pictures and hold a vote on the best in the Army. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter to @_MichaelHoffman.