• 1st Lt. Justin Crose, platoon leader for 1st Platoon, Bravo Troop, 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, carries a simulated mortar round during the call for fire event at the units annual spur ride.  Soldiers serving with Cavalry units, referred to as "Troopers", are inducted into the Order of the Spur and receive their spurs after successfully completing a "Spur Ride" or for having served during combat as a member of or with a Cavalry unit.  (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    1st Lt. Justin Crose, platoon leader for 1st Platoon, Bravo Troop, 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, carries a simulated mortar round during the call for fire event at the units annual spur...

  • Staff Sgt. James Cook, with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, assists fellow spur candidates during the units annual spur ride, a long-time cavalry tradition to test Soldiers mental and physical fortitude and to induct them into the cavalry family. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Staff Sgt. James Cook, with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, assists fellow spur candidates during the units annual spur ride, a long-time cavalry tradition to test Soldiers mental and...

  • Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on their leadership, technical and tactical proficiency, physical fitness, the ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue.  Only when they are able to prove their ability to perform are they awarded spurs and inducted into the Order of the Spur. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on...

  • Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on their leadership, technical and tactical proficiency, physical fitness, the ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue.  Only when they are able to prove their ability to perform are they awarded spurs and inducted into the Order of the Spur. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on...

  • Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on their leadership, technical and tactical proficiency, physical fitness, the ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue.  Only when they are able to prove their ability to perform are they awarded spurs and inducted into the Order of the Spur. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Soldiers with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, endure the cold muddy water obstacle on a rainy Alaska day as part of the annual spur ride, a cavalry tradition where candidates are evaluated on...

  • Soldiers participating in the with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment Spur Ride, must successful identify several military vehicles in one of the many training scenarios in order to "earn their spurs" and be inducted into the Order of the Spur, a Cavalry tradition that has been passed down more than 200 years. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Soldiers participating in the with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment Spur Ride, must successful identify several military vehicles in one of the many training scenarios in order to "earn their spurs" and be inducted into the Order of the Spur, a...

  • Soldiers participating in the with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment Spur Ride, tested for speed and accuracy in setting up the Army Singar radio as one of the many training tasks in order to "earn their spurs" and be inducted into the Order of the Spur, a Cavalry tradition that has been passed down more than 200 years. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt Trish McMurphy, USARAK Public Affairs)

    Spur Ride tests Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities

    Soldiers participating in the with 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment Spur Ride, tested for speed and accuracy in setting up the Army Singar radio as one of the many training tasks in order to "earn their spurs" and be inducted into the Order of the...

The 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, held a traditional spur ride on Fort Wainwright, Alaska June 5, with nearly 80 Soldiers participating in an effort to earn their spurs under the Order of the Spur, a tradition that reaches back to the beginning of the Cavalry. Earning their spurs identifies Cavalry troopers as experts in their profession of arms.
During the event candidates were put through a series of mental and physical tests to evaluate their leadership, technical and tactical proficiency and ability to operate as part of a team while under high levels of stress and fatigue in both day and night conditions.
"What we do here is a brotherhood, a family tradition," said Maj. Jason Moncuse, 5-1 CAV squadron executive officer. "We bring the fresh guys in who haven't had the opportunity before and put them through simulated scenarios and basically test them and stress them to the point just to show them they have the heart to be a part of the team."
The spur ride is a U.S. Army Cavalry tradition dating back more than 200 years and although the requirements have changed with time, Cavalry Soldiers must still prove themselves in a series of soldiering skills to earn a coveted set of silver spurs.
Moncuse, a combat awarded golden spur holder, said the spur ride gives new leaders the opportunity to prove they have the military knowledge, ability, drive and determination to succeed on the battlefield.
"When I went through, years ago, it was brutal," said Moncuse. "It was a rough time, but boy when you are done it's great to have finally earned your spurs."
For the majority of the challenge, teamwork played an important role, but events like the gas chamber and land navigation tested the will and mental toughness of each Soldier as an individual.
Spc. Paul William Barber, a Cavalry scout with 5-1 CAV, recalled some of his experiences throughout the day.
"There were a couple points I was like 'this really sucks' and I wanted to stop but you just have to drive on, it's only a day - so might as well finish it all," said Barber. "It's a tradition and everybody has got to do it."
During the rough times, whether it was the gas chamber, the cold, muddy water obstacles or the long road march with a full combat load, Barber said his fellow Cavalry spur candidates were his main source of motivation.
"They just kept driving me on right next to me telling me to keep going and not quit," he said.
Upon successful completion of the ride, participants took part in a ceremony where each Soldier formally received their spurs and were inducted into the Order.

Page last updated Mon June 9th, 2014 at 00:00