In Ireland's County Limerick , near the River Shannon , there is a quiet little suburb by the name of Garryowen , which means `` Garden of Owen '' .
Undoubtedly none of the residents realize the influence their town has had on American military history , or the deeds of valor that have been done in its name .
The cry `` Garryowen '' ! !
Bursting from the lips of a charging cavalry trooper was the last sound heard on this earth by untold numbers of Cheyennes , Sioux and Apaches , Mexican banditos under Pancho Villa , Japanese in the South Pacific , and Chinese and North Korean Communists in Korea .
Garryowen is the battle cry of the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment , `` The Fighting Seventh '' .
Today a battle cry may seem an anachronism , for in the modern Army , esprit de corps has been sacrificed to organizational charts and tables .
But don't tell that to a veteran of the Fighting Seventh , especially in a saloon on Saturday night .
Of all the thousands of men who have served in the 7th Cav , perhaps no one knows its spirit better than Lieutenant Colonel Melbourne C. Chandler .
Wiry and burr-headed , with steel blue eyes and a chest splattered with medals , Chandler is the epitome of the old-time trooper .
The truth is , however , that when Mel Chandler first reported to the regiment the only steed he had ever ridden was a swivel chair and the only weapon he had ever wielded was a pencil .
Chandler had been commissioned in the Medical Service Corps and was serving as a personnel officer for the Kansas City Medical Depot when he decided that if he was going to make the Army his career , he wanted to be in the fighting part of it .
Though he knew no more about military science and tactics than any other desk officer , he managed to get transferred to the combat forces .
The next thing he knew he was reporting for duty as commanding officer of Troop H , 7th Cavalry , in the middle of corps maneuvers in Japan .
Outside of combat , he couldn't have landed in a tougher spot .
First of all , no unit likes to have a new CO brought in from the outside , especially when he's an armchair trooper .
Second , if there is ever a perfect time to pull the rug out from under him , it's on maneuvers .
In combat , helping your CO make a fool of himself might mean getting yourself killed .
But in maneuvers , with the top brass watching him all the time , it's easy .
Chandler understood this and expected the worst .
But his first few days with Troop H were full of surprises , beginning with First Sergeant Robert Early .
Chandler had expected a tough old trooper with a gravel voice .
Instead Sergeant Early was quiet , sharp and confident .
He had enlisted in the Army straight out of high school and had immediately set about learning his new trade .
There was no weapon Early could not take apart and reassemble blind-folded .
He could lead a patrol and he knew his paper work .
Further , he had taken full advantage of the Army's correspondence courses .
He not only knew soldiering , but mathematics , history and literature as well .
But for all his erudite confidence , Sergeant Early was right out of the Garryowen mold .
He was filled with the spirit of the Fighting Seventh .
That saved Mel Chandler .
Sergeant Early let the new CO know just how lucky he was to be in the best troop in the best regiment in the United States Army .
He fed the captain bits of history about the troops and the regiment .
For example , it was a battalion of the 7th Cavalry under Colonel George Armstrong Custer that had been wiped out at the Battle of The Little Big Horn .
It didn't take Captain Chandler long to realize that he had to carry a heavy load of tradition on his shoulders as commander of Troop Aj .
But what made the load lighter was the realization that every officer , non-com and trooper was ready and willing to help him carry it , for the good of the troop and the regiment .
Maneuvers over , the 7th returned to garrison duty in Tokyo , Captain Chandler still with them .
It was the 7th Cavalry whose troopers were charged with guarding the Imperial Palace of the Emperor .
But still Mel Chandler was not completely convinced that men would really die for a four-syllable word , `` Garryowen '' .
The final proof was a small incident .
It happened at the St. Patrick's Day party , a big affair for a regiment which had gone into battle for over three-quarters of a century to the strains of an Irish march .
In the middle of the party Chandler looked up to see four smiling faces bearing down upon him , each beaming above the biggest , greenest shamrock he had ever seen .
The faces belonged to Lieutenant Marvin Goulding , his wife and their two children .
And when the singing began , it was the Gouldings who sang the old Irish songs the best .
Though there was an occasional good-natured chuckle about Marvin Goulding , the Jewish officer from Chicago , singing tearfully about the ould sod , no one really thought it was strange .
For Marvin Goulding , like Giovanni Martini , the bugler boy who carried Custer's last message , or Margarito Lopez , the one-man Army on Leyte , was a Garryowen , through and through .
It was no coincidence that Goulding was one of the most beloved platoon leaders in the regiment .
And so Mel Chandler got the spirit of Garryowen .
He set out to keep Troop H the best troop in the best regiment .
One of his innovations was to see to it that every man -- cook and clerk as well as rifleman -- qualified with every weapon in the troop .
Even the mess sergeant , Bill Brown , a dapper , cocky transfer from an airborne division , went out on the range .
The troop received a new leader , Lieutenant Robert M. Carroll , fresh out of ROTC and bucking for Regular Army status .
Carroll was sharp and military , but he was up against tough competition for that RA berth , and he wanted to play it cool .
So Mel Chandler set out to sell him on the spirit of Garryowen , just as he himself had been sold a short time before .
When the Korean war began , on June 25 , 1950 , the anniversary of the day Custer had gone down fighting at the Little Big Horn and the day the regiment had assaulted the beachhead of Leyte during World War 2 , , the 7th Cavalry was not in the best fighting condition .
Its entire complement of non-commissioned officers on the platoon level had departed as cadre for another unit , and its vehicles were still those used in the drive across Luzon in World War 2 .
Just a month after the Korean War broke out , the 7th Cavalry was moving into the lines , ready for combat .
From then on the Fighting Seventh was in the thick of the bitterest fighting in Korea .
One night on the Naktong River , Mel Chandler called on that fabled esprit de corps .
The regiment was dug in on the east side of the river and the North Koreans were steadily building up a concentration of crack troops on the other side .
The troopers knew an attack was coming , but they didn't know when , and they didn't know where .
At 6 o'clock on the morning of August 12 , they were in doubt no longer .
Then it came , against Troop Aj .
The enemy had filtered across the river during the night and a full force of 1000 men , armed with Russian machine guns , attacked the position held by Chandler's men .
They came in waves .
First came the cannon fodder , white-clad civilians being driven into death as a massive human battering ram .
They were followed by crack North Korean troops , who mounted one charge after another .
They overran the 7th Cav's forward machine-gun positions through sheer weight of numbers , over piles of their own dead .
Another force flanked the company and took up a position on a hill to the rear .
Captain Chandler saw that it was building up strength .
He assembled a group of 25 men , composed of wounded troopers awaiting evacuation , the company clerk , supply men , cooks and drivers , and led them to the hill .
One of the more seriously wounded was Lieutenant Carroll , the young officer bucking for the Regular Army .
Chandler left Carroll at the bottom of the hill to direct any reinforcements he could find to the fight .
Then Mel Chandler started up the hill .
He took one step , two , broke into a trot and then into a run .
The first thing he knew the words `` Garryowen '' ! !
Burst from his throat .
His followers shouted the old battle cry after him and charged the hill , firing as they ran .
The Koreans fell back , but regrouped at the top of the hill and pinned down the cavalrymen with a screen of fire .
Chandler , looking to right and left to see how his men were faring , suddenly saw another figure bounding up the hill , hurling grenades and hollering the battle cry as he ran .
It was Bob Carroll , who had suddenly found himself imbued with the spirit of Garryowen .
He had formed his own task force of three stragglers and led them up the hill in a Fighting Seventh charge .
Because of this diversionary attack the main group that had been pinned down on the hill was able to surge forward again .
But an enemy grenade hit Carroll in the head and detonated simultaneously .
He went down like a wet rag and the attackers hit the dirt in the face of the withering enemy fire .
Enemy reinforcements came pouring down , seeking a soft spot .
They found it at the junction between Troops H and G , and prepared to counterattack .
Marvin Goulding saw what was happening .
He turned to his platoon .
`` Okay , men '' , he said .
`` Follow me '' .
Goulding leaped to his feet and started forward , `` Garryowen '' ! !
On his lips , his men following .
But the bullets whacked home before he finished his battle cry and Marvin Goulding fell dead .
For an instant his men hesitated , unable to believe that their lieutenant , the most popular officer in the regiment , was dead .
Then they let out a bellow of anguish and rage and , cursing , screaming and hollering `` Garryowen '' ! !
They charged into the enemy like wild men .
That finished the job that Captain Chandler and Lieutenant Carroll had begun .
Goulding's platoon pushed back the enemy soldiers and broke up the timing of the entire enemy attack .
Reinforcements came up quickly to take advantage of the opening made by Goulding's platoon .
The North Koreans threw away their guns and fled across the rice paddies .
Artillery and air strikes were called in to kill them by the hundreds .
Though Bob Carroll seemed to have had his head practically blown off by the exploding grenade , he lived .
Today he is a major -- in the Regular Army .
So filled was Mel Chandler with the spirit of Garryowen that after Korea was over , he took on the job of writing the complete history of the regiment .
After years of digging , nights and weekends , he put together the big , profusely illustrated book , Of Garryowen And Glory , which is probably the most complete history of any military unit .
The battle of the Naktong River is just one example of how the battle cry and the spirit of The Fighting Seventh have paid off .
For nearly a century the cry has never failed to rally the fighting men of the regiment .
Take the case of Major Marcus A. Reno , who survived the Battle of The Little Big Horn in 1876 .
From the enlisted men he pistol-whipped to the subordinate officer whose wife he tried to rape , a lot of men had plenty of reason heartily to dislike Marcus Reno .
Many of his fellow officers refused to speak to him .
But when a board of inquiry was called to look into the charges of cowardice made against him , the men who had seen Reno leave the battlefield and the officer who had heard Reno suggest that the wounded be left to be tortured by the Sioux , refused to say a harsh word against him .
He was a member of The Fighting Seventh .
Although it was at the Battle of The Little Horn , about which more words have been written than any other battle in American history , that the 7th Cavalry first made its mark in history , the regiment was ten years old by then .
Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer was the regiment's first permanent commander and , like such generals as George S. Patton and Terry De La Mesa Allen in their rise to military prominence , Custer was a believer in blood and guts warfare .
During the Civil War , Custer , who achieved a brilliant record , was made brigadier general at the age of 23 .
He finished the war as a major general , commanding a full division , and at 25 was the youngest major general in the history of the U.S. Army .