SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii- During the time honored "Spur Ride" conducted by the 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division April 27-28, new Cavalry troopers earned their spurs and improved their troop leading procedures at the lush Kahuku training grounds.
The history of the Order of the Spur started during the horse Cavalry days when new troops were trained to ride horses. Once the troops learned how to ride properly, they received spurs that symbolized their proficiency.
In today's U.S. Army, without the old Cavalry horses, Soldiers experience a similar introduction training that focused on leadership building and basic Cavalry tasks.
After arriving at the Kahuku training area, the troopers split up into one of eight training lanes. Each lane consisted of various scenarios including meeting medical needs of simulated wounded Soldiers, proper reaction to improvised explosive devices and setting up vital communication lines. Troopers had to navigate 1 km between each station on the lane, while carrying their assigned weapons, body armor and fully loaded ruck sacks.
"We have been training in steps known as the walk, crawl, and run phases," said Spc. Alexander Cerney, a team leader with C Troop, 3-4 Cav.
"We crawled by moving through our quads on Schofield in tactical formations, then began the walking phase by going to East Range learning how to map our locations, and finally running by moving through the steepest mountains in Hawaii in the Kahukus," said Cerney.
Sgt. Maj. Troy Tuten, the squadron operations sergeant major, explained the value of the Spur Ride as the best way to bring a team together. He said by sharing hardships, being out in the rain while wet and tired builds the camaraderie needed for Soldiers to become successful in combat.
"When a young Soldier looks to the left or right and sees leadership sharing the same hardship as them, it builds confidence that their leaders will not ask them to do anything they wouldn't do themselves," Tuten said.
"This is a wakeup call for these young troopers that haven't had the opportunity to train as a small unit in a wooded environment before deploying to Iraq. It is great training because it not only prepares for Afghanistan but any operating environment," he added.