The Order of the Spur is a Cavalry tradition within the United States Army. Soldiers serving with Cavalry units (referred to as "Troopers") are inducted into the Order of the Spur after successfully completing a "Spur Ride" or for having served during combat as a member of or with a Cavalry unit. Traditionally, each Trooper is presented spurs by his sponsor at a ceremonial dining in commonly referred to as the "Spur Dinner". The spurs are to be worn with the military uniform during Squadron or Regimental ceremonies and events or as designated by the Cavalry unit commander. In some units, gold spurs are awarded for combat inductions while silver spurs represent having completed the Spur Ride. Within the tradition, silver spurs and gold spurs hold a similar relationship for the cavalry as the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Combat Infantryman Badge hold in the U.S. Army Infantry. There is no Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) requirement for the Order of the Spur and the order is open to members of foreign militaries serving with U.S. Cavalry units.
Occasionally, Cav units hold Spouse Spur Rides so that the spouses of the soldiers can earn their own set of spurs, sort of a morale and team-building exercise to honor the spouses who support our soldiers. Edited for clarification: Of course, SoldierMan is infantry, and in an infantry company, but SoldierMan’s unit is attached to a Cav squadron. They hosted a Spouse Spur Ride yesterday, and so we were invited to participate. So this really was like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and the spouses in our company.
The regular Spur Ride is a grueling two-day marathon of events that the soldiers have to complete to earn their spurs. The Spouse Spur Ride is, necessarily, a “lighter” version of that. But I still felt like I earned them!
All photos stolen from others, since I was obviously a little too busy to take pictures during the event!
We were divided into groups and participated in a number of events, such as a grenade assault range, land nav, low crawl/high crawl course, and the leader’s reaction course (obstacle course). Of course, by the time we had all assembled, the thermometer was already pushing triple-digits. Gotta love the desert.
Blissfully unaware of what the afternoon was about to bring. No, really, they told us next to nothing, other than we were given a packing list, equipment to be provided by our soldier, and we were told to be prepared to get wet at some point, so no “fancy” underwear. Yup.
Yes, I run like a girl. And I throw like a girl. SoldierMan’s company was running this lane where we had to run from bunker to bunker and throw grenades at targets. My grenades usually went about 3 feet. The soldier running me through it knew SoldierMan and got a kick out of that. (At least, I’m assuming he was laughing WITH me, not AT me, though either one would have been appropriate, honestly :)) And that fellow following me with his cell phone out is our CO, videoing my amazing performance…har har…as seen here:
I think we had gotten to the next station too early, so to “kill time” between hydration stops we did some light PT. It was definitely over 100 degrees at that point. But the ACUs were actually pretty comfortable. We carried our assault packs (again, our soldiers’ assault packs) and our “weapons” with us to every station. And don’t you dare let 1SGT see you holding it wrong!
We had a great time and the soldiers who ran each lane did a fantastic job. The soldiers in charge of each team were great about making sure everyone had a chance to do everything and do everything safely. I ran home after we were dismissed, took a deliciously COLD shower and iced my feet down until I had to hobble around on my blisters and get ready for the evening.
That night, we had the Spur Dining In, where each of the spouses was awarded a certificate and a spur charm necklace (
I’m still trying to figure out how to wrangle some real pink spurs – the traditional award for completing the Spouse Spur Ride and the significance behind the pink event shirts. Long story, but there were some technical difficulties and our group didn’t get them. But I’m pretty determined to find some on my own. I’ve figured out how to get my own pink spurs. I did earn them, after all! :)) The Dining In was fun, at the German Club on post, and there are pictures floating around somewhere of SoldierMan presenting me with my “spurs,” but I don’t have them. The pictures, I mean.
I found one from someone:
So now SoldierMan has his EIB and I have my Cav Spurs. What’s next, Army? Bring it on. Bring. It. On.
The Dining In also doubled as the Farewell to our SCO and his wife, so it was a very bittersweet evening. They are fantastic people, incredible leaders and inspiring role models, both of them. They will be sorely missed.
Speaking of sore, I think it’s time for my next round of ibuprofen.