Submitted by Shelbe Johnson
Hearing the words “at ease,” the Columbus, Ga., Pathfinders relax from their formal stance. Director Ann Trumbo gives another command, and they sit in their seats to listen as Grady Snell Jr., retired first sergeant, gives his presentation.
Snell is founder and CEO of the Global Association of the Buffalo Soldiers Recognition and Riding Club. He was the guest speaker at an April 29, 2017, Pathfinder meeting held at the Columbus First Church. After riding into the church parking lot on his motorcycle, Snell spoke to the Pathfinders about the original Buffalo Soldiers, who were the first all-black peacetime regiments in the U.S. Army.
Joined by three other veterans, Snell showed videos about the rich history, and answered questions asked by those in the audience. All four men were dressed in army attire decked with emblems symbolizing their many years of service.
The original Buffalo Soldiers consisted of six black army units that were established through an act of Congress in 1866. They fought after the Civil War and until the 1950s, serving in the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st infantry regiments. The four infantry regiments were later reorganized to form the 24th and 25th infantry regiments.
Under Snell’s leadership, the Global Association of the Buffalo Soldiers Recognition and Riding Club raised $60,000 to erect a memorial at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, honoring the brave soldiers and preserving their legacy for future generations. The club, with more than 100 members, is very involved with volunteer work in their community.
Georgia-Cumberland | August 2017