Shave-tails earn silver spurs
1 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, work together to formulate the unknown distance of a target during a Spur Ride at Joint Training Ce... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
2 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, work together to attach a tow bar to a Humvee at the vehicle recovery station during a Spur Ride at... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
3 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Isidoro, Liden, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, uses cover and concealment to monitor notiona... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
4 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Wain (left), native of Bangor, Pa. and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, drinks water while holding out her... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
5 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Antonio Crespo, Roselle, N.J. resident and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, recites the "Fiddler's Green" while holdin... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
6 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, display their layered sleeping system during a Spur Ride inventory inspection at Joint Training Cen... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
7 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Jack Croft, Fords, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, pulls the charging handle back on a .50-caliber ma... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
8 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Delvecchio (right), Roxbury, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, performs a functions check on a... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
9 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, hold up red-lens lighting systems during a Spur Ride inventory inspection at Joint Training Center-... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
10 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Chris Rice, New York, N.Y. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, engages a target down a simulated alley at a... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
11 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Liam Saalfield (left), Andover, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, removes recoil springs of a Mark 19 4... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
12 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Isidoro, Liden, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, drags a simulated casualty to safety at a tim... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
13 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Raul Mendez, native of Perth Amboy, N.J. and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, tracks notional enemy movement through b... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
14 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Wain (left), Bangor, Pa. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, disassembles a M240B machine gun duri... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
15 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, descend tactically down a hill during a Spur Ride at Joint Training Center-Jordan in August 2019. T... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
16 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, move a simulated casualty to safety during a Spur Ride at Joint Training Center-Jordan August 11, 2... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
17 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, high crawl with their weapons under simulated concertina wire during a Spur Ride at Joint Training ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
18 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Antonio Crespo (right), Roselle, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, explains how to evaluate a casualty ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
19 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, call for fire while being evaluated by a Spur Holder on their teamwork, radio communication capabil... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
20 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, high crawl with their weapons under simulated concertina wire during a Spur Ride at Joint Training ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
21 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Antonio Crespo, Roselle, N.J. native and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, performs the head-tilt chin-left method to o... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
22 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Andres Wynter (left), Nork, N.J. resident and spur holder with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, instructs spur candidates on their require... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
23 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Olmeda (left) of Nork, N.J. and 1st Lt. Chris Rice of New York, N.Y., both spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, wo... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
24 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A spur holder with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, demonstrates how to assemble a Mark 19 40 mm grenade machine gun atop a Humvee during a Spur Ride at ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
25 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spur candidates with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, work together to assemble a Mark 19 40 mm grenade machine gun atop a Humvee during a Spur Ride at J... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
26 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Wain, Bangor, Pa. resident and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, engages a target with a M240B machine gun ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shave-tails earn silver spurs
27 / 27 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Maryann Rocks, Haddon Township, N.J. resident and spur candidate with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, sits atop a hill and draws a terrai... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The echoes of, "Yes spur holder!" reverberated in the mountainous rock-ribbed, desert terrain that made it challenging for shave-tails to fight mental fatigue, dehydration and full physical exhaustion in a relentless effort to obtain one item…a set of spurs.

U.S. Army spur holders, with 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment (1-102 CAV), 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) of the 42nd Infantry Division (42ID), New Jersey National Guard (NJARNG), conducted a Spur Ride from Aug. 10 to 13 at Joint Training Center-Jordan (JTC-J), allowing non-spur holders the opportunity to earn a pair. Sixty-two spur candidates began, but only 44 successfully completed and were awarded with a set of silver spurs, formally inducting them into the, "Order of the Spur."

The Spur Ride is a time-honored tradition deeply rooted into the U.S. Cavalry culture dating back more than a century. In times past, green Troopers who arrived at their new cavalry assignment were called, "shave-tails." The newbies needed extensive swordsmanship training, from atop a horse, so their horse's tail would be shaved, identifying them as a potential hazard due to their horsemanship inexperience. Once they proved themselves in mounted swordsmanship, they were awarded a set of spurs, their horse's hair grew back, and they were no longer referred to as, "shave-tails."

Modern-day Spur Rides are non-military occupational specialty specific and the only means to join the, "Order of the Spur," aside from a wartime induction. Serving with a cavalry unit in a war zone authorizes Troopers to wear a set of gold Prince of Wales type spurs.

The 72-hour Spur Ride at JTC-J tested spur candidates on weapons familiarization, land navigation, radio communications/maintenance, vehicle recovery, live-fire maneuvers, first aid and tactical team maneuvers, among other combat specific tasks. The Army's first priority is readiness - ensuring Soldiers have the tools and training needed to be lethal and ready to fight and win.

U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Ronald Ambrose, Mendham, New Jersey resident and senior spur holder with 1-102 CAV, 44th IBCT of the 42ID, NJARNG, has more than 34 years of military service with the Cavalry Regiment. The JTC-J Spur Ride marked the 6th ride he has partaken in.

According Ambrose, cavalry units are predominately used for mission reconnaissance, encompassing several support elements that aid the overall surveillance effort. Despite the difficult terrain, he was pleased to see the vigorous enthusiasm in the spur candidates and their resiliency to deal with the desert environment. Ambrose said he hopes the new Troopers now understand what it means to be a spur holder and to carry on the revered cavalry tradition.

"I won't be around anymore to do it [Spur Rides], the next one will be conducted on their own," he explained, "They have to move forward, but continue with the same cavalry traditions and the same esprit de corps as they did with this one."

According to a cavalry legend, "As a member of the order, a Trooper also acquires the last benefit of stopping for a drink at the mythical canteen 'Fiddler's Green' on their descent into Hell." The "Fiddlers Green" was a ballad written by an unknown author for Troopers, originally published in the 1923 U.S. Cavalry Manual, modernly used by cavalry units to memorialize the deceased. Spur candidates were required to memorize and recite this ballad, verbatim, whenever requested by a Spur Holder.

In addition to spurs, Troopers who successfully complete a Spur Ride are authorized to wear the infamous Cavalry Stetson. This custom dates to the late 1800s when cavalry troops were stationed on the frontier during America's westward expansion. The late John Stetson, founder of John B. Stetson Hat Company, began manufacturing headgear durable enough to be worn by cowboys and Soldiers. An old-time cavalry saying is, "When a Trooper dons his Stetson lesser men step aside, children stop to star in awe, and the ladies whisper his name."

Present-day, they whisper his or her name.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Wain, with 1-102 CAV, 44th IBCT of the 42ID, NJARNG, is a field artillery officer who resides in Bangor, Pennsylvania. She said the Spur Ride provided her with a better knowledgebase for assessment of the battlefield, Soldier placement and how to use Soldier assets. This knowledgebase helps with readiness; the capability of forces to conduct the full range of military operations to defeat all enemies regardless of the threats they pose. She explained that as an officer, you should be able to do whatever you task your Soldiers to do.

"I know more now of what my Soldiers go through," explained Wain, "So when I ask them to do things, I know what it means, and I know how long it takes."

Receiving her spurs was a very humbling experience and a personal milestone for Wain. She said her goal was, and still is, to motivate females and be the example of what they can do. She commended everyone on their efforts and said regardless of if they passed or not, they are all still family.

"We are all one team, whether you finished or not," Wain said respectfully, "We all worked very hard and everybody is proud of each other."