Story by: U.S. Army Sgt. Elliot Alagueuzian, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office
FORT HOOD, Texas – Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion “Maverick,” 1st Cavalry Division hosted a Spur Ride on Dec. 2. The “Maverick” battalion organized the Spur Ride to test and validate the induction of Troopers in the 1st Cavalry Division into the Order of the Spur.
“Spur rides have been a tradition in the 1st Cavalry Division for years,” Command Sgt. Maj. Esteban Alvarado said, HHBN command sergeant major. “We came out with about 130 spur candidates that are excited and motivated to earn their spurs.”
Spur Rides are storied traditions in cavalry units which demonstrate individual proficiency in the unit required tasks, overall physical fitness, mental agility and personal readiness. The Spur Ride helps develop cohesion and enhances esprit de corps across all formations of Troopers.
“The Spur Ride enforces older traditions that have been instilled for a long time,” Spc. Izaiah Gutierrez said, Spur Holder, 1st Cavalry Division. “It definitely makes everyone work as a team, because if you work alone you will not succeed.”
A Trooper, earning their Spurs is a time-honored tradition that dates back to the time of knights. New cavalrymen would be given a horse with a shaved tail, designating them as amateur riders. These Troopers would not be given their Spurs until they proved themselves worthy by way of intense training and proof of competence.
“You will not only work with people of your MOS when you are in a battlefield scenario, so you need to build unity within the entire team,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Aguilar, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion,1st Cavalry Division.
Today’s cavalry has traded its horses for tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the importance of immersing cavalry Troopers into the traditions, history, heritage and legacy of the U.S. Army Cavalry remains till this day.
“It is an honor and a significant achievement that I’ve been planning to do ever since I got to Fort Hood.” said Staff Sgt. Sterling Daniels, Spur Holder, 1st Cavalry Division. “I’m really honored to wear the Spurs and to train my Troopers to one day earn their Spurs as well.”
After verifying and reverifying all their gear, candidates went through a team building exercise in order to promote cohesion and mutual trust. Next, they went through a rigorous stress shooting lane, medical lanes, vehicle recovery operations, history of the 1st Cavalry Division and a communications lane. The Spur Ride hosted more than 130 Spur Candidates and their leaders from across the “Maverick” battalion who were thrilled to see their Troopers go through the same experience they once did to earn their Spurs.
“It is an absolute honor to see my Troopers carry on the legacy of earning their Silver Spurs as I did 12 years ago in the 1st Cavalry Division,” 1st Sgt. Edwin Hernandez said, master spur holder, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.
Events like these continue to build cohesive teams and mutual trust amongst the men and women of “America’s First Team.” Teaching young Troopers the rich history and traditions of the 1st Cavalry Division and what it means to “Be The Legend.”