He joined the military on Nov. 22, 1952. As a foal from Fort Reno, Oklahoma, he was taken to Fort Myer, Virginia and was the last of the Quartermaster-issue horses branded with the Army's U.S. brand. He served in the Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
His army serial number was 2V56 that was imprinted on the left side of his neck. Black Jack was described in a book called "Black Jack America's Riderless Horse" as a beautiful, sleek and well-muscled, jet black in color with a small, white star on his forehead.
Black Jack would become the most famous "riderless horse" in history having served more than 1000 Armed Forces with Full Honors Funerals, the majority having taken place at Arlington National Cemetery. Among those he represented were President John F. Kennedy (1963), President Herbert Hoover (1964), President in Lyndon Johnson (1973), and Five star General Douglas MacArthur (1964) having served in four state funerals.
|Black Jack at JFK funeral|
|Black Jack at Hoover funeral|
During most of Black Jack's funerals, he was accompanied by Army Major General Philip C. Wehle.
|Black Jack's 25th birthday party|
Over the years, hundreds of school students would visit this living American symbol.
Black Jack died on February 6, 1976 following a 29 year military career. He was cremated and his remains were laid to rest in a plot at Fort Myer, Virginia on Summerall Field. He is one of only two horses in United States history to be buried with Full Military Honors.