Keeping tradition alive
July 10, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 10, 2012) -- The U.S. Army is rich with traditions. One of the oldest traditions belongs to cavalry units by how they earn their spurs. Troopers with 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, participated in a spur ride June 19 and 20 at Fort Benning to earn theirs.
The Order of The Spur has been a Cavalry tradition since its origins in 1775.
A horse with a shaved tail was given to a new trooper arriving at a cavalry unit. Only when a new trooper was able to prove their ability to perform with their horse and saber were they awarded spurs.
Cavalry units no longer ride horses. They have adapted to the modern technology required for operations on today's battlefield, but the tradition of earning their spurs is still alive and well, especially for Blackhawk Troopers.
They began the spur ride June 17 at 4:30 a.m. with an Army Physical Fitness Test followed by a five-mile run, an obstacle course, individual weapons qualifications, night land navigation and other warrior tasks, and finally ended near 7 a.m. the next day.
"I am exhausted right now, but we just have to push through it," said Pfc. Gung Yang, a Cavalry scout and Statesville, N.C., native right before his night land navigation portion of the spur ride.
"Me and my team have been working really good together. That's what this is all about, working together to help each other get through this," Yang said.
"The Order of the Spur is more about a brotherhood than anything else," said Sgt. 1st Class Edmundo Trivino, the senior spur holder for this spur ride.
"At the end of it all, everyone will have aches and pains, but they will all have earned their spurs and it's a great accomplishment for each and every trooper," said Trivino.
Once the spur ride is complete, the final part of the tradition is the spur dinner.
During the spur dinner, troopers received their Order of the Spur certificate and their sponsor placed silver spurs on the shoe of each new spur holder.
Eighty-nine individuals received their spurs at the dinner, to include two Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, and two Army cadets.
Guest speaker at the spur dinner was retired Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky W. Young, formerly assigned to 3-1 Cav.
Young spoke about the reasons to continue the tradition of the spur ride and the meaning of the bond created by it.
"We do not train for war so we can kill. We train for war so when we are called to go, those same people you shared those hardships out there during that spur ride, you make sure you bring them home," Young said.