After completing more than 40 miles of foot movement, a myriad of tactical tasks and a 2-day spur ride, 82 Bandits were inducted into the honorable Order of the Spur.
One hundred and fourteen troopers assigned to 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) vied for the opportunity to earn their spurs.
The Order of the Spur is a historical tradition within the cavalry. Troopers shed the name “inexperienced shaved-tail” and join the ranks of the seasoned spur holders. During the event, troopers were divided into five teams.
The teams were comprised of 1-32nd CAV Soldiers from across the squadron with different ranks and military occupational specialties.
The team endured the tests together through cold weather, harsh conditions and intense physical demand.
Sergeant Matthew Pietrangelo, cavalry scout, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-32nd CAV, said the ride is meant to test the Soldiers’ resilience. He is a spur holder. This is the sixth spur ride he has helped facilitate.
“It’s meant to break you,” he said. “You see a look in their eyes that they want to quit, but they don’t. They always find a way to dig down deeper and find motivation in the smallest things they can to keep pushing through.”
Specialist Lance Dooly, cavalry scout, A Troop, 1-32nd CAV, was a member of Team 3 during the event. The Apache Lane was his favorite part of the Spur Ride.
“It’s almost like it’s your older brother picking on you. We’re like a Family,” he said. “We only had two (Soldiers) drop (from the event) because we all banded together. It was a great team and experience.”
The teams worked together to push each other past adversity. This was an opportunity for all participants to understand the challenges scouts face during their missions. Soldiers witnessed firsthand the effort it takes to conduct reconnaissance tasks.
First Lieutenant Rion Dillard, assistant intelligence officer, HHT, 1-32nd CAV, said this was his first time participating in a Spur Ride. He said his group had a strong team dynamic.
“Whenever one of us felt like we couldn’t finish, we’d be sure to uplift one another to get to the end,” he said.
Although the challenges were physically demanding, Dillard said there also were mental obstacles to overcome.
“It was extremely cold,” he said. “It was all about getting through that first night below freezing and keep pushing to the next lanes until the sun came up.”