Local

March 10, 2014

Upholding legacy of the Cavalry

11 ACR Troopers earn their spurs

A total of 83 Troopers from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment earned their spurs in a time-honored unit event called the Spur Ride, Feb. 2-3.

Although the Cavalry no longer use horses tactically, the Spur Ride remains a long-standing tradition adopted by the United States Cavalry, dating back to the days of knighthood. While Spur Rides vary from unit to unit, the traditions all center on a heritage of horsemanship.

A Trooper throws a simulated hand grenade during a Spur Ride held by 1st
Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at the National Training Center.

First Lt. Andrew Roland, with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1/11 ACR, served as the officer-in-charge of the planning and execution of the squadron Spur Ride. Roland explained that candidates are referred to as “shaved tails” – a name that is derived from the days when cavalrymen were mounted on horseback. Spurs were not given to Troopers new to riding since a new rider’s lack of experience could present a danger to those around him. When a new Trooper arrived to their unit and received their horse, the mare’s tail would be shaved.  The bare tail warned other cavalrymen that the rider was inexperienced in handling the animal and room should be given for him to maneuver.

“By the time the horse was able to grow out its tail, the Trooper was considered trained and that horse was able to join him in combat from there on,” Roland said.

Spur Rides are seen as a rite-of-passage. They are not what some often confuse with a form of hazing. Hazing typically involves punishment as a rite-of-passage with no defined purpose; a Spur Ride creates a controlled stressful environment for candidates in order to promote teamwork – a crucial necessity for all Army training and more importantly, any battlefield.

Spur Ride candidates began separated into squads before rotating through several training stations involving everything from dismounted patrols to using hand grenades.  Only after shaved tails proved proficiency could they road-march back to garrison to be awarded their spurs. From then on, Troopers can wear the coveted spurs on their boots during military ceremonies.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I know what I am doing, to show that I can do this and uphold the legacy of the cavalry,” said Pfc. Ryan C. Abbott, a newly-made spur holder assigned to HHT, 1/11 ACR.

Traditions are passed down from one generation to the next, whether it is being told or shown to new spur holders.  “Being able to pass the knowledge that I had gained when I went through the Spur Ride makes me feel like I am a mentor to the new candidates,” said Spc. Caleb J. Smith, a Spur Ride lane walker from HHT, 1/11 ACR. “It makes me feel good that I was able to show these new spur hopefuls the ropes. Once they are inducted into the [Order of the Spur], there will be a feeling of camaraderie amongst us that wasn’t there before,” Smith said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

New era of NTC leadership begins

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC Brigadier Gen. Joseph Martin (left) receives the National Training Center colors from Lt. Gen. Patrick Donahue II, deputy commanding general of United States Army Forces Command, during a change of ...
 
 

Honoring Holocaust victims

The nation observes Days of Remembrance to remember the Holocaust and honor the victims and survivors of that genocide. This year, the week-long commemoration is from April 12 through April 19. The theme is “Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act” and was designated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. An observance...
 
 

You have to start with a dream

Gustavo Bahena Colonel Cathy Walter, deputy commander of Nursing Services with United States Army Medical Department Activity here, speaks at the 2015 Fort Irwin Women’s History Month celebration, March 11. Fort Irwin celebrated Women’s History Month with a ceremony at a packed venue here, March 11. Sandy Basin Community Center was standing room only for...
 

 
G.A. Volb

Army Surgeon General lauds realism in training

G.A. Volb Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho (left), Army surgeon general and commander of United States Army Medical Command, looks on as Soldiers from the 15th Brigade Support Battalion out of Fort Hood, Texas, provide treatment to the...
 
 
Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

Dedicated to helping victims

Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office Staff of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin Advocacy Center includes professionals from Social Work Services, Family Advocacy Program and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Res...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

‘Making a Difference’

Gustavo Bahena Guy Shields, communications and public affairs officer for Army Emergency Relief headquarters in Virginia, spoke at the AER fundraising campaign kick-off here, March 9. He emphasized that leaders can make a diffe...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin