FORT HOOD, Texas - This year marked the 170th birthday for the storied 3rd Cavalry Regiment. To honor the unit's proud traditions, more than 4,500 Troopers assigned to 3rd Cav. Regt. celebrated the annual Brave Rifles Week here May 16-18.

The week was packed full of events that encompassed multiple social events, a combat skills competition, a two-day sports competition, a spouse spur ride and the regiment's first culinary arts competition.

"Although the week was condensed to three days because of the unit's upcoming deployment, it is important for us to take time to celebrate our traditions," said Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan D. Barker, the 3d Cav. Regt. command sergeant major.

Barker said the traditions builds esprit de corps between squadrons and fosters camaraderie amongst the Troopers.

"Brave Rifles Week encompasses what the regiment is all about, and our commitment to each other is what sets us apart," said Barker.

Pfc. Zachary Doubikin, an infantryman with Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 3d Cav. Regt., said, "This week is about having a good time and building a lasting relationship with other Troopers within the regiment."

The audience cheered and encouraged the players from the sidelines at the various competitive events.

During the two-day sports competition, Troopers competed in flag football, basketball, softball and dodgeball in a double-elimination format.

"Ai-Ee-Yah!" Doubikin yelled as he watched his unit play flag football and score on the opposing team.

"As a new Soldier, I'm proud to be in 3rd CR because of the unit's history, and it's moments like this that really bring us together as a team," he said.

This is his second year participating in Brave Rifles Week.

Even the threat of rain couldn't damper the events of Brave Rifles Week. The culminating event this year was the Garden Party held in the Regimental Support Squadron's motorpool where Col. Kevin Admiral, the regimental commander, and Barker cased the unit's colors for the upcoming deployment.

"It was important that we cased the colors during the Brave Rifles Week because we are adding more pages to our unit's history, and it's symbolic of the regiment's upcoming journey," said Barker. "This deployment will add to our already prestigious history."

The regiment is devoted to keeping traditions and building new memories said Barker.

"I'm proud of the Troopers and their outstanding participation in Brave Rifles Week," said Barker. "I look forward to serving with them during the deployment."