• Maj. Dale Farrand (left), the executive officer for the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and the 15th BSB commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Vieira, strap on a pair of gold combat spurs to the boots of one of their Soldiers during an awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad, Nov. 27.

    Maj. Dale Farrand (left), the executive officer...

    Maj. Dale Farrand (left), the executive officer for the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and the 15th BSB commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Vieira, strap on a pair of gold combat spurs to the boots of one of...

  • 1st Lt. Anna Rosenberg (right), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, straps gold combat spurs to the boots of Spc. Alicia Cummings, while HHC's commander, Capt. Michelle Ramos, awards spurs to another Soldier during an awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad, Nov. 27.

    1st Lt. Anna Rosenberg (right), Headquarters...

    1st Lt. Anna Rosenberg (right), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, straps gold combat spurs to the boots of Spc. Alicia Cummings, while HHC's commander, Capt. Michelle...

  • Sgt. Paul Amato, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, awards gold combat spurs to Spc. Jadon Cagle, a medic with HHC, during an awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad, Nov. 27.

    Sgt. Paul Amato, Headquarters and Headquarters...

    Sgt. Paul Amato, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, awards gold combat spurs to Spc. Jadon Cagle, a medic with HHC, during an awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base...

  • The 2nd Brigade Combat Team's commander, Col. Bryan Roberts (left) and the 15th Brigade Support Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Vieira, award a 15th BSB Soldier his gold combat spurs during an award ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad, Nov. 27.

    The 2nd Brigade Combat Team's commander, Col...

    The 2nd Brigade Combat Team's commander, Col. Bryan Roberts (left) and the 15th Brigade Support Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Vieira, award a 15th BSB Soldier his gold combat spurs during an award ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity...

  • 1st Sgt. Tonia Littlejohn, the top noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Comb at Team, 1st Cavalry Division, assumes the front-leaning rest position as Command Sgts. Maj. Nathaniel Richardson (left) and James Lee strap on her gold combat spurs during an awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad, Nov. 27.

    1st Sgt. Tonia Littlejohn, the top...

    1st Sgt. Tonia Littlejohn, the top noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Comb at Team, 1st Cavalry Division, assumes the front-leaning rest position as Command Sgts. Maj...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq - Soldiers from the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division have recently been taking part in one of the cavalry's oldest traditions: receiving spurs for service in combat.

Over the last week of November, each of "Gamblers" four companies has held separate ceremony during which their Soldiers received combat spurs. For a majority of the battalion's Soldiers, this has been their first deployment with the First Team and the first set of spurs they have earned.

"As far as I know, it's a rite of passage and an accomplishment," said Spc. Jadon Cagle, a medic with the battalion commander's personal security detail, who received his gold combat spurs Nov. 27. "It means we've accomplished nearly 15 long months here, and it's a long-standing tradition. I'm proud to have received mine, as well."

The act of awarding spurs to Soldiers is a tradition unique to cavalry units and dates back to the beginnings of the cavalry.

When new troopers first arrived to a cavalry unit they were assigned a horse with a shaved tail and during mounted formations the shaved tail horses were given extra space to account for their rider's inexperience.

New troopers were not allowed to wear spurs because the combination of the inexperience on horseback and the use of the spurs was seen as a recipe for trouble. Over time, though, as the trooper proved his proficiency with both his horse and saber, he was awarded his spurs.

Today's troopers can be awarded two types of spurs. Silver spurs are awarded for general military proficiency, which is usually demonstrated by the Soldier in a series of events known as a 'Spur Ride.' Gold spurs are earned after a cavalry Soldier proves his or herself in combat, and are usually awarded toward the end of a cavalry unit's deployment.

"You feel like you're officially part of the Cav. now," said Spc. Brittany Greene, an automations specialist with Headquarters Company after receiving her spurs. "The 15th is the first unit I've been in, so everything I know about the Army is about being in the 1st Cav., and it's a good feeling to get your spurs. You feel like you're getting that welcome in. You feel like you can wear your Stetson now with pride, because you can wear your spurs with them.'"

Page last updated Thu November 29th, 2007 at 10:25