Charlie Canedy is the JEB Stuart of Air Cavalry. He organized and trained one of the first two divisional air cavalry troops. He organized, trained, deployed, and fought one of the Army's first three separate Air Cavalry Squadrons in Vietnam. He was the first commander of the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat). These units were known for their elan, dash and offensive spirit which Charlie instilled in the tradition of their horse cavalry heritage.
Brigadier General Canedy graduated from Norwich University in 1953 and was commissioned in Armor. Upon graduation from flight school in 1955, he was assigned to Fort Hood where he got his chance to become one of the very first air cavalrymen.
In 1962, while in the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, he received a mission type order to organize an Air Cavalry troop and to be prepared to fight it if the division received the order to invade Cuba. He scrounged cast off Air Force and Navy weapons, mounted them on H-13s and UH-1As, trained the troop and planned its employment. LTG Howze, XVIII Airborne Corps Commander, personally approved his plan for deployment which moved his H-13s on the USS Antietam with his UH-1As self deploying from Key West. Although the invasion did not occur no one who knew Charlie could doubt that his home-made air cavalry troop would have achieved the world's first victory in aerial mounted combat.
In 1964, while at Fort Leavenworth, he was summoned, by name, to the Pentagon to help develop an Army position paper which laid the doctrinal groundwork for the employment of air cavalry and attack helicopter units in support of the ground commander's scheme of maneuver. While an action officer in the office of the Director of Army Aviation he was responsible for the UH-1 fleet. In this job he was the primary action officer to gain approval of an Army purchase of the Bell AH-1 Cobra.
In 1967, Canedy was selected to organize, train, and deploy the 7th of the 1st Air Cavalry Squadron. Due to his squadron's combat successes it was selected to be the first in Vietnam to be equipped with the AH-1G Cobra. Tactics and techniques developed by his squadron laid the foundation for today's air cavalry and attack units. In 1973 he took command of the 2d Brigade (Air Cavalry), 1st Cavalry Division (TRICAP). Upon successful completion of the Air Cavalry Combat Brigade tests, it was renamed the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) and assigned to III Corps.
Promoted to Brigadier General, Canedy was assigned as the Army Aviation Officer, DCSOPS, where he spearheaded an effort to form an Aviation Branch.
Today's air cavalry and attack units owe a tremendous debt to Charlie Canedy. More than any other person he established their tradition of innovation, esprit and competence.