The Army rededicated a Buffalo Soldier display in the Pentagon Thursday and kicked off its observance of African American History Month.

The ceremony was more than just a rededication of the 10th Cavalry statuette, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who hosted the event. He said it was a ceremony to honor the invaluable legacy of commitment, pride and sacrifice African Americans have made in the U.S. Army.

"This is a time for all of us to celebrate the past, the present and the future contributions of all African Americans to this nation," Casey said.

Buffalo Soldiers were the first African Americans to serve in the military during peacetime. In 1866, Congress approved the formation of six Black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th 40th and 41st Infantry.

In 1869 the military down- sized and the four infantry units were combine into two, the 24th and 25th. In about 1867 the Indians gave them the name Buffalo Soldiers, reportedly as a result of the buffalo skin coats they were issued and their prowess on the battlefield.

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