By Honorary AQM Jack Thomas Tomarchio No. 2219
Everyone in the First City Troop has a Troop Number, right?
Trooper Andrew Condon was elected at the March dinner meeting and, Troop Number 2464 was assigned. However there are quite a few more than 2,464 members of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry.
The reason for this is twofold. Over the Troop’s history various men have been elected directly to the Honorary Roll without having served on the Active Roll. Most of these have been men of exceptional military merit: generals, admirals, service secretaries and the like. Customarily these distinguished individuals were elected and given a rosette, but not a Troop number. These Honoraries enjoyed full membership privileges, everything except a number.
The first man elected directly to the Honorary Roll was Major J. Harvey Hurst in the year 1800. Some of the more famous Honoraries in this category included Generals George Gordon Meade, William Tecumseh Sherman and Phil Sheridan, as well as Admirals David Dixon Porter and David G. Farragut, all of Civil War fame. In later years Generals John J. Pershing, Wesley Craig and H. R. McMaster were also elected with Troop Numbers being assigned to them.
The other category of numberless troopers are members of the Volunteer Troops of 1898, 1916 and 1917. These men volunteered to join the Troop in time of grave national emergency. They served with us but were never elected to the Active Roll. In 1937, it was determined that these men should be entitled to Troop membership and thus the Bylaws were suspended and twelve from 1898, six from 1916 and fifty-three from 1917 were elected unanimously to the Honorary Roll. Finally, in 1940, one more man from the Volunteer Troop of 1917 was elected to the Honorary Roll.
To celebrate these elections, a special dinner was held at the Armory on May 10, 1937 which was attended by more than 300 members to welcome these numberless Troopers to the Honorary Roll.