‘Raiders’ keep tradition alive with spur ride

| September 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
Spc. Ryan Danielian, a radio operator from Comanche Troop, moves out for a march, Sept. 10.

Spc. Ryan Danielian, a radio operator from Comanche Troop, moves out for the night march, Sept. 10.

 

Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Troopers came in from a 12-mile road march under a heavy Hawaiian downpour, here, finishing their final event and earning their spurs, Sept. 11.

Twenty-eight participants from 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, started the two-day long spur ride.

The tradition of the spur ride goes back more than a century for troopers and is seen as a rite of passage for them.

“The spur ride is for new cavalrymen who have arrived at their units and established themselves as cavalrymen to earn their mount,” said 1st Lt. Nathan Sitterley, plans officer, High Headquarters Troop. “Back in history, when a new Soldier arrived, he was not given a mount until he established himself as a cavalryman, so getting your spurs is a big deal.”

4. Pfc. Alex Graves has his feet inspected at the end of a 12-mile road march at Schofield Barracks, Sept. 11.

Pfc. Alex Graves has his feet inspected at the end of a 12-mile road march at Schofield Barracks, Sept. 11.

The troopers were testing their mettle, including combat duties, in an arduous environment.

“Our main focus is reconnaissance, just based on our squadron METL (mission essential task list),” Sitterley said, prior to the start of the first event. “The intent is not to haze or physically harm the Soldiers, but to test them in their knowledge as cavalrymen. It will be mentally and physically tough, which encompasses the 12-miler at the end of all this. So, it is a hard little 36 hours.”

The troopers had to successfully complete tasks that ranged from a medical obstacle course at the Medical Simulation Training Center, to an air assault to East Range, and then complete a grueling 16-hour round robin.

  Second Lt. Ian Smith reads information to members of Blackfoot Troop prior to a road march during the 3rd Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment Spur Ride event at Schofield Barracks on Sept. 10.


Second Lt. Ian Smith reads information to members of Blackfoot Troop prior to a road march during the 3rd Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment Spur Ride event at Schofield Barracks on Sept. 10.

“The continuous operations during the round robin made it difficult,” said Spc. Ryan Danielian, radio operator, Comanche Troop. “It was like, you would finish a mission and you’d think you got some time to relax, and 10 minutes FRAGO (fragmentary order), and it’s right back out again, four or five clicks, to the next objective.”

The on- and-off-again rain simply added to the challenge that the troopers faced during the round robin and the 12-mile march back.

“The weather had an effect, especially rucking back in, which makes everything heavier and nasty,” Danielian said.

Pfc. Alex Graves, an infantryman with Troop C, sat down wearily, but proudly, at the end of the ruck march.

“It was fun,” Graves said. “A lot more challenging than I thought it would be, that’s for sure. The most difficult thing was, probably, all the movement and no sleep. I felt pretty good. I knew I passed it.”

One trooper in particular, Pvt. Giuseppe Mattero from Blackfoot Troop, drew out a motivational item that he was tasked to keep safe. The item in question was an egg with a face drawn on it.

Pvt. Giuseppe Mattero displays an egg named “Jeff” he was tasked to take care of during the 3-4th Cav.’s 12-mile road march, Sept. 11. (“Jeff” survived the spur ride.)­

Pvt. Giuseppe Mattero displays an egg named “Jeff” he was tasked to take care of during the 3-4th Cav.’s 12-mile road march, Sept. 11. (“Jeff” survived the spur ride.)­

“I was tasked to take care of it,” Mattero said, as he pulled it out of the safe confines of a green boot sock. “So, I did. His name is Jeff.”

While only 22 troopers from 3-4th Cav. earned their spurs on 9/11, more will have a chance to earn their silver spurs in the future.

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Category: News, Training

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