Military spouses compete for silver spurs

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Photo by Spc. Taria Clayton, 11th ACR

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – One hundred military spouses from Fort Irwin and the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow kicked up their heels, Dec. 3, to compete for silver spurs during the annual Spouses Spur Ride.

Each year, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment sponsors a Spouses Spur Ride to focus on building camaraderie among military spouses within the local community. The event is a venue to bring spouses together, so they can meet each other and begin friendships.

At precisely 0730 military time, Col. Kevin L. Jacobi, commanding officer of the 11th ACR, welcomed guests and competitors to Fritz field. Jacobi’s opening ceremony speech focused on the importance of teamwork, community relations, and included a pre-game pep talk to motivate the participants.

Twelve teams spent half a day conquering a series of training challenges led by subject matter experts from each squadron within the regiment. The five field events included weapons, grenades, M4 Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) gear, casualty evacuation, and military history.

For many participants wearing personal protective equipment, while firing weapons and maneuvering around obstacles, made the tasks more difficult to perform.

Several participants said the experience gave them a better idea of what military training is like for their spouses.

One of the most memorable moments of the day was watching team “Ladies of the Desert” prepare for the competition by running through an explosion of multi-colored dust. At the end of the day, they were recognized as the team with the “most-spirit” throughout the competition.

Other teams were also recognized for the event in which they excelled during the competition.

Team “Hellhorse” took home first place honors for achieving the overall top score among the teams. Team “Ironhorse” established themselves as the “most lethal” competitors in both the machine gun and grenade simulated training exercise (STX) lanes. Team “We Don’t Know” won the sniper shoot-out battle and team “Killers” had the best reaction time during the casualty evacuation drill.

All participants received a certificate from the regiment acknowledging their induction into the Order of the Spur and authorizing them to wear the coveted silver spurs they received from their military sponsor.

During the closing ceremony, Jacobi thanked participants for taking on the challenge and making the Spouses Spur Ride a great success.