1st Lt. Jason A. Sexton
1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment

FORWARD OPERATIN BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan (Feb. 18, 2013) -- On Feb. 15, the Soldiers of Combined Task Force "Wolverine" received their combat patches and were inducted into the Order of the Combat Spur at four locations in western Paktika.

The combat spur is a traditional award for those who deploy with a cavalry unit, is it a time honoured tradition amongst cavalry Soldiers and is also a first award for the majority of Soldiers in CTF "Wolverine."

The Order of the Combat Spur is different from the traditional (or silver) Order of the Spur because every cavalry Soldier is eligible to receive them if they are in good standing and deployed. Usually only sergeants and higher may participate in a 'Spur Ride' to earn their silver spurs while in garrison. The combat spurs worn by these Soldiers are gold rather than silver and signify a unity of combat cavalry Soldiers that spans not only cavalry units but time as well.

Another time honoured tradition the "Wolverines" take part in is their patching ceremony.

Once a Soldier deploys in support of a combat operation, he or she is authorized to wear their units' combat patch. For many "Wolverines" this is their first deployment.

"I was proud that I got the chance to deploy with 1-89th Cavalry," said Spc. Duane Willis, of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, "I am excited to have earned my patch."

Willis is among nearly 400 others in CTF "Wolverine" that received their spurs and combat patches.

Lt. Col. Robert Griggs, commander of CTF "Wolverine," stressed the importance of wearing not only the combat patch but the spurs as well, to honor all our brothers and sisters that came before us.

"You cannot but feel a sense of pride and confidence when you look down and see that patch, or when someone says 'hey what's that on your boots,'" said Griggs. "We all came from different places, but we are all Soldiers, and not only Soldiers but cavalry Soldiers. We owe it to our predecessors to wear (these) with pride."

The "Wolverines" are the only ground cavalry unit in 2nd Security Force Advisory Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI).