Trooper Rachel Hilliard has been a member of the 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association, San Diego Chapter Buffalo Soldiers for five years. She is a native of California, raised in San Diego in a strong Christian family with her three brothers and two sisters. Her Faith, Friends and Family values are most important to her. She is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters and four energetic grandsons. Rachel loves to travel, play tennis and ride horses. She is grateful for the contributions of her family’ heritage, both African and Indian. Rachel is a member of the Executive Board of the Buffalo Soldiers, whose mission is to implement policies and implement programs, services and activities. Rachel delights audiences with her command performance of Private William Cathay, the only female Buffalo Soldier. She is employed by the Department of the Navy, Life Member of American Tennis Association and Toastmasters International.
“A person who kneels to God can stand up to anything.”
1st Vice President
Trooper Vincent (Mailman) Lemons is co-founder of the San Diego Chapter of the 9th &10th (Horse) Cavalry Association. Prior to co-founding the San Diego Chapter in 2002, Trooper Lemons was a member of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter. Trooper Lemons and co-founder Dorsie Davis traveled from San Diego to Los Angeles each month for Cavalry meetings, eventually requesting a charter for the San Diego Chapter. Trooper Lemons served as President of the San Diego Chapter from 2002 until 2009. Trooper Lemons currently serves as interim 1st Vice President of the San Diego Chapter. Trooper Lemons is passionate about keeping the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers alive. He is a committed life member dedicated to educating everyone about the contributions that these heroes made in the United States Military. Trooper Lemons particularly enjoys Buffalo Soldier pageantry and proudly displays the many Buffalo Soldier re-enactment items that he has collected over the years.
Trooper Elizabeth Nelson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but has lived in San Diego, California most of her adult life. Elizabeth is one of the original fourteen people, that was required to establish a Buffalo Soldier 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association in San Diego. She has been the San Diego Chapter Secretary since the chapter was founded. Additionally, Elizabeth was the first female member of the San Diego Chapter. She is also a member of the San Diego Chapter color guard.Elizabeth is committed to educating people of all cultures and backgrounds about the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. She is proud to present Buffalo Soldier History at every opportunity. In addition to her re-enactment uniform, Elizabeth models her collection of Western attire at Western Fashion Show fundraisers hosted by the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers. She enjoys socializing with her comrades and spending time with her family.
Trooper Janie Jackson has been a member of the Buffalo Soldiers San Diego Chapter for seven and a half years, where she oversees all financial activity, audits and financial statements in accordance with city, state and federal laws as well as being a member of the Executive Board. Although, Trooper Jackson is not a native of California, Janie considers San Diego her home. After a summer vacation in 1975, she decided to relocate for the great weather and to continue her education. Trooper Jackson is the oldest of two children and a proud mother of a wonderful daughter. Janie is a collector of “All Gods Children” figurines, she loves to cook and entertain her family and friends. Janie is also a member of Toastmasters International and American Legion Post 310 Auxiliary. She is employed by Teledyne one of the world leading companies in Oceanography. Janie’s passion for life, sense of humor and creativity, combine to compliment her unique style.
Trooper Carl Wright is a Vietnam Era Veteran born October 4, 1945 in St. Louis Missouri. Trooper Wright was raised and attended school in San Diego, California. After receiving his induction notice, Trooper Wright was one of the first Marine Corp draftees to report to Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, California. Trooper Wright completed his basic training at MCRD and after basic training, attended Admin School at Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton, CA. Upon completion of Admin training he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion Marine Corp Recruit Depot San Diego, CA., where he competed on the base Judo and Karate team. He was promoted to Sergeant after 16 months. He was later re-assigned to Marine Barracks Subic Bay, Philippines, where, like many other servicemen, Trooper Wright received orders for Vietnam. Trooper Wright’s last assignment was Headquarters Company Marine Corp Base at Quantico, VA. Trooper Wright was Honorably discharged 13th February, 1970. Trooper Wright quips, “even though I was drafted, I did not realize that the military would prepare me for a great career in civilian life. I retired from San Diego Gas & Electric Company with 31 years as a Construction Supervisor”. Trooper Wright has been a member of the American Legion Post 310, San Diego, CA for 8 years, VFW, San Diego, CA for 8 years and he also has been a member of the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10 (Horse) Cavalry Association for 8 years. He previously served as 2nd Vice President for the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers, and currently serves as President of the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers.
Edward L. Butler
Trooper Butler was honorably discharged from the US Navy after serving four years at sea as a Fire Control Technician (FTG2). Trooper Butler joined the Buffalo Soldiers because of a strong desire to keep alive the rich legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. Trooper Butler is a student of Buffalo Soldier re-enactment pageantry and enjoys the camaraderie of fellow troopers who share a common purpose. Trooper Butler has been a member of the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association since 2003. He is a member of the 2010-2011 executive board, a member of the Color Guard and acting Sergeant-at-Arms for 2011-2012. Trooper Butler has also served on various fundraising committees.
Original Buffalo Soldier
Trooper Robert Joyce Jr. is the older of two children, born July 3, 1928 to Robert Joyce, Sr. and Lela Joyce in Galveston, Texas. Living on the farm was difficult. There was no running water, no electricity and no mail delivery. Most of our food came from the farm such as corn, peas, sugar cane, peanuts, vegetables, chickens, cows, goats and hogs. I recall my first job was working as a sharecropper when school was out for one dollar a day and one meal. The time of day was from sun rise to sunset. I did that just one summer. The next summer one of my cousin’s and I sawed pulp wood in the forest, that kind of wood is used to make paper. I completed school, but only because of my grandmother’s insistence. I finally graduated from high school on May 16, 1947. I wanted to become an industrial engineer, but knowing that was impossible because of segregation and discrimination in colleges, I volunteered for the United States Army, took basic training at Fort Six New Jersey and went overseas and was assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment, 512th M.P. Battalion. I served in the military for three years and heard that a pot of gold was discovered in California at the end of a rainbow so I moved to California, where I worked at Convair and was surprised the company paid so much for doing so little. Later, I went to North Island as a sheet metal mechanic and retired as a supervisor after twenty-five years. Life Member of Buffalo Soldiers San Diego Chapter.
Original Buffalo Soldier
Trooper Shelley White is the eldest sibling of a family of 9 boys and 6 girls. Trooper White is a native of San Diego, California, where he attended Central Elementary School, Wilson Junior High School and graduated from Hoover High School. Trooper White began working for Convair, General Dynamics in 1952 and remained employed there for 41 years. Prior to working at General Dynamics, Trooper White served in the Korean War. Trooper White has been a Little League Umpire for 60 years. He is a board member for California District 42 Little League. Trooper White has umpired in many different places. Several noteworthy places that Trooper White has umpired include San Bernardino, CA; Taylor, Michigan; Japan; Hawaii; and Korea. The most memorable umpiring assignment was when he was chosen to umpire the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Trooper Shelley White was inaugurated into the Hall of Champions in San Diego in 2006. Trooper White is very proud of the contributions made by the Buffalo Soldiers in the United States Military, and he is committed to teaching Buffalo Soldier History to all people.
Trooper John Roper was born in 1955 in Brooklyn New York King’s County. He is the eldest of three boys. Trooper Roper’s family relocated to California, where he attended and graduated from Dominquez High School in Compton, CA. At the age of 18 Trooper Roper joined the Navy in 1973. He received two Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, Sea Service Medals, and two Honorable Discharges. Trooper Roper has served in Japan, the Philippines, and Guam. Trooper Roper has been employed at the 32nd Street Navy Commissary for twenty-five years. He is married and has eight grand children and two great grand children. He has been a member of the San Diego Buffalo Soldiers Color Guard since 2006.
Trooper Rhomaine Johnstone, was born in Richmond, VA, where all of his family resides. Although he loved Richmond, he decided to join the Navy. He was immediately sent to Vietnam for two years. Rhomaine was then stationed in beautiful San Diego, where he completed 30 years of military service and retired as Master Chief in 1990. In 2003, Retired Master Chief Johnstone recognized the valuable history of the Buffalo Soldiers and has been a member since then. Johnstone cherishes the many veterans that serve our country and is a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts.
2nd Vice President
Original Buffalo Soldier
Original Buffalo Soldier