By Sgt. Jessica DuVernayJanuary 19, 2018
The Steel Dragon's spur ride, kicked off the first spur ride of 2018, for the Greywolf brigade.
Candidates volunteered for the opportunity to test themselves mentally and physically in an effort to earn their spurs, which are a tradition in cavalry units Army wide.
"2-82 and 1st Cav. have a lot of history, and a lot of Soldiers aren't tracking that when they first get to the unit," said 1st Lt. Andrew Carstensen, platoon leader, Bravo Battery. "A spur ride is a great event to really stress that and get them to learn the unit history, memorize it and just know it."
Candidates are required to work together with their team in order to complete all tasks and learn important unit history they may have otherwise never known, while maintaining their motivation before being awarded their spurs.
For 2-82, Soldiers are required to maintain mental toughness, teamwork and esprit de corps to be able to successfully complete all events of the spur ride.
"It helps you see how much you're willing to give and what you really have in you," said Spc. Marcus Moss, ammunition carrier driver, Battery B. "It also helps you build teambuilding skills and when your battle buddies are struggling, you can hop in and help them out."
Teams were encouraged to motivate one another to get through each daunting task. Spur Holders, those who have already earned their spurs, ensure that teams do not fail and progress to their next task.
"It's important to complete the spur ride, because on a very personal level, it's hard to do a spur ride," explained Capt. Geoffrey Ross, the assistant operations officer, 2-82nd FA. "It's hard physically, mentally, and you have to learn a lot of things about your unit, your history and traditions, and so personally, when you are challenged, you grow.
As a group, it's forcing them to learn how to work together, it's forcing them to learn how to work as part of a team that has never worked together before. So, it's building the entire unit, from the individual Soldier, to the small group, and now we are expanding to the unit to make it whole."
Being a field artillery unit, this spur ride contained events where candidates could apply their job specific knowledge to successfully complete their tasks, while concurrently learning the history of 2-82, Greywolf and 1st Cavalry Division.
After the candidates complete the grueling ruck-march of more than 22 miles, they as teams, complete a board consisting of Senior Officer and NCO Spur Holders. Teams are questioned on the unit history they learned throughout the day. Following the board, candidates are awarded their spurs in a ceremony.
"Wearing spurs is a responsibility because it shows to everyone who sees you with your spurs that you know your unit's history, you have pride in your unit, and you have done something challenging that not everyone does to earn that right to wear those spurs," said Ross. "It's an opportunity to prove to themselves and the rest of the division that they have taken pride in the 1st Cavalry Division, and have said, 'I am willing to do something very difficult in order to be a part of a tradition.'"