By Virginia Reza, Fort BlissDecember 15, 2008
FORT BLISS, Texas--Spouses of 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, servicemembers showed up in force Dec. 6, to participate in the squadron's spur ride at Abernathy Park.
"It's all about esprit de corps, but mainly to show appreciation for the wives who do so much for all the troopers," said Lt. Col. Brian Mchugh, commander of 6th Sqdn., 1st Cav. Regt.
Traditionally, the spur ride is an event where cavalry Soldiers must pass a series of mental and physical challenges that evaluate leadership, technical and tactical proficiency, and the ability to function as part of a team under stress and fatigue. They must also pass a written test with questions covering cavalry and unit history.
"We are giving the spouses an opportunity to earn their spurs, which is a position of high standing in the cavalry," Mchugh said. "And although it's an individual event, we want them to understand warrior ethos by not leaving their buddies behind and winning as a team."
More than 50 spouses tested their physical endurance at the obstacle course as they bear-crawled, climbed, ran, jumped and rappelled. The spouses then rotated through the weapons station where they had to assemble and disassemble the 9 mm pistol and M-4 rifle followed by a unit history test in order to earn their spurs, they had to pass three of the four challenges.
Geneva Isleib, wife of Sgt. Charles Adam Isleib, said the event was challenging, but amusing and encourages other wives to participate in the next event.
"I would definitely do it again," said Geneva. "Others should come and try it out, and even if they can't make it through, it's just a lot of fun. It also made me understand what our husbands go through"
Staff Sgt. Tommy Christian of A Troop said he was glad the troopers' wives got to experience a taste of what they go through.
"I was surprised to see that some of the wives were getting through the obstacle course better than their husbands did last week," joked Christian.