Cavalry keiki earn their spurs

| March 29, 2013 | 0 Comments
Junior Raiders of 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, crawl under an obstacle during the Junior Spur Ride, March 21. (Photo by Sgt. Brian Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Junior Raiders of 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, crawl under an obstacle during the Junior Spur Ride, March 21. (Photo by Sgt. Brian Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The troops stood no more than 4 feet tall, with camouflage painted over smiles and the fierce look of determination. They stood 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 of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, “Raiders,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, took the Junior Spur Ride challenge at F Quad, here, March 21, with the help of their parents.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Allman (left), 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, teaches a Junior Raider how to apply camouflage to his face. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Allman (left), 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, teaches a Junior Raider how to apply camouflage to his face. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

“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, 3-4th Cav. Regt.

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 the event is generally held over multiple days, during which a Trooper must pass a series of physical and mental tests relevant to the Cavalry.

The Junior Raiders went through events similar to tradition as their parents once did 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 MREs to seeing the vehicles to (putting on camouflage) during the events,” said Capt. Gary Bostic, plans officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3-4th Cav.

Cavalry Soldiers and Junior Raiders salute the colors during the playing of the "National Anthem," marking the start of the Junior Spur Ride. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Cavalry Soldiers and Junior Raiders salute the colors during the playing of the “National Anthem,” marking the start of the Junior Spur Ride. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

The Junior Spur Ride kicked off with the playing of the “National Anthem” and a safety brief.

The children were then separated, by age group, into five platoons, complete with a Raider platoon sergeant.

The Raiders hosted several different stations that included a camouflaging class, a radio class, a first aid demonstration (children 8 years old and younger learned “when to call 911,” while kids ages 9 and older learned how to treat a minor injury), MRE station, a weapon’s display (M4, M249, M240B), a vehicle display, an aircraft and vehicle recognition test and, lastly, 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, including a sprint competition, an obstacle course and an assault course with Nerf guns and water balloons.

Soldiers of 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, help Junior Raiders conduct an assault through an obstacle using toy water guns as part of the Junior Spur Ride. (Photo by 1st Lt. Garrett Nash, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers of 3-4th Cav., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, help Junior Raiders conduct an assault through an obstacle using toy water guns as part of the Junior Spur Ride. (Photo by 1st Lt. Garrett Nash, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Roy Walters, squadron aid station noncommissioned officer in charge, HHT, 3-4th Cav., participated in the event with his wife, Natalie, and their 3-year-old son, and said his son enjoyed 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.

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