SWIETOSZOW Poland -- Cavalry Soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st infantry Division, participated in a battalion sponsored Spur Ride, an event in which they earn their right to wear the distinguished silver spurs traditionally awarded to U.S. cavalrymen, on the ranges near Swietoszow, April 24-25, 2019.
The Army does not have strict guidelines for how a Spur Ride is conducted, the regulations are set forth by the command of the unit conducting the event. In the 1-4 Cavalry, 111 U.S. Soldiers and 6 Polish Soldiers, known as spur candidates, participated in a series of events over two days that tested their physical fitness and their tactical proficiency.
"The Spur Ride is an event normally held over multiple days during which Troopers must pass a series of physical and mental tests that evaluate leadership, technical and tactical proficiency and the ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue," said 1st Lt. Craemer Hedash, executive officer for the Headquarters Troop, 1-4 Cavalry Battalion.
Over the course of 48 hours, the spur candidates were tested on their knowledge of the cavalry skills and the history of their unit. Some of the lanes they were tested on included, calling for indirect fire, field repairs on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, evaluating a casualty in a combat environment and field weapons maintenance.
The culminating event was the Spur Board which the spur candidates were tested as a team on their intellectual knowledge and warrior ethos. This event led into the Final Charge which was a 2.5 mile ruck march from the field into camp. Upon completion, the spur candidate is inducted into the "Order of the Spur", and awarded a set of silver spurs which they can wear with their uniform.
"Within the tradition, the spurs hold a similar relationship for the cavalry as the Expert Infantry Badge," said Hedash. "It is important because it gives the modern-day cavalry squadron the opportunity to evaluate level 10 tasks and to earn an appreciation for the long standing history of the cavalry organization."
Of the 117 Soldiers that participated, 113 successfully completed the Spur Ride and were inducted into the order.