By Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry DivisionMarch 26, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (March 26, 2013) -- The troops stood no more than four feet tall with camouflage painted over smiles and the fierce look of determination as they stood ready; poised with colorful rubber "hand grenades" filled with water, ready to take on the assault course and defeat the bad guys.
More than 70 children, with the help of their parents, took part in the Junior Spur Ride Challenge, hosted by the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, "Raiders," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry, March 21, at F Quad on Schofield Barracks.
"One of our most important traditions in the cavalry is the Spur Ride, a tradition that goes way back and is a mark of excellence for cavalrymen," said Lt. Col. David Zinn, commander, 3-4Cav, 3rd BCT, 25th ID.
The Spur Ride dates back to the beginning of the cavalry and is the only means of joining the Order of the Spur, aside from a wartime induction. The conduct of a Spur Ride varies but it is generally an event held over multiple days during which a Trooper must pass a series of physical and mental tests relevant to the Cavalry.
Junior Raiders went through events similar to traditional reqirements their parents once completed to earn their spurs.
"We wanted to give the kids an opportunity to go through some of the things their moms and dads get to go through here, from tasting [Meals, Ready to Eat], to seeing the vehicles to putting on camouflage during the events," said Capt. Gary S. Bostic, plans officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3-4 Cav.
The children were divided by ages into five platoons and assigned a Raider platoon sergeant. Following assignments, the event was kicked off with the playing of the National Anthem and a safety brief.
The Raiders hosted several different stations that included a camouflaging class, an assault course with Nerf guns and water balloons, an obstacle course, a radio class, a first-aid demonstration (children ages eight and under learned how to properly use 911, and those nine and above learned how to treat a minor injury), a sprint competition, a Meals, Ready to Eat station, a weapons display, a vehicle display, an aircraft and vehicle recognition test, and wrapped up the event with an Easter egg hunt.
The activities of the Junior Spur Ride put an emphasis on physical fitness and safety as children were constantly moving through different obstacles.
Staff Sgt. Roy C. Walters, squadron aid station noncommissioned officer in charge, HHT, 3-4 CAV,3rd BCT, 25th ID, who participated in the event with his wife Natalie and their 3-year-old son, said his son is loving every minute of the event.
"He loves getting to do the things that daddy gets to do and he gets to see the general purpose of what being a Soldier is," said Walters. "Taking that into the cavalry part of it, he gets to see my unit in the Stetson and spurs and will also get his Order of the Spur today so when he gets a little bigger, he'll have a better understanding of how I earned my spurs."
At the end of the event, the children received certificates, certifying them as Junior Spur Cavalry kids.