OCTOBER 19, 2021 – Dogface Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division participated in a combined spur ride on Oct. 14-15 at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The cavalry regiments across the Division – 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team; 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team; and 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade – collaborated to make the first 3rd ID spur ride in recent memory.
Two hundred forty-six out of 313 Soldiers completed the spur ride with 1st ABCT at an approximate 83% success rate, 2nd ABCT at an approximate 93% success rate, and 3rd CAB at an approximate 72% success rate.
A Soldier earning their spurs is a tradition that reaches back to the beginnings of the U.S. Army cavalry in the 19th century. In modern times, a Soldier earns their spurs when they have proven their level of expertise and determination by completing a physically and mentally demanding test over the course of one to two days.
“A spur ride is a time-honored cavalry tradition that tests and validates a Soldier’s ability to perform basic Soldier tasks under pressure,” said Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, commanding general of 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield. “Spur rides are a way to induct Soldiers into the legacy of the U.S. Army Cavalry through shared hardship and training, all while they learn more about the storied history of the cavalry regiments represented in our division. I am extremely proud of all the candidates who earned their spurs.”
The spur ride, a 30-hour event, pushed the Soldiers, referred to as spur candidates, to their physical and mental limits by testing their ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue throughout both day and night conditions.
The spur candidates were placed into 12 teams, each with a spur holder, or spur guide, who rigorously coached the candidates through the spur ride.
“We are out here to motivate the candidates and give them that extra push when they feel like quitting,” said Cpl. Eric Amphavannasouk, a spur holder assigned to 3rd Sqn., 17th Cav. Regt., 3rd CAB, 3rd ID. “We also instill pride and educate the candidates on the historical importance of the cavalry.”
The spur ride totaled over 25 miles of marching while carrying a 35-pound rucksack, navigating through 12 lanes where spur candidates demonstrated their cavalry knowledge and skills. Some of the tasks the Soldiers had to perform during the spur ride included the Army Combat Fitness Test, weapons identification and a spur board that put their cavalry knowledge to the test.
Spur candidates were also required to frequently recite the traditional cavalry poem known as “Fiddler’s Green” from memory.
“The spur ride demanded a lot out of us candidates, physically and mentally,” said Spc. Glacius Misajon, an AH-64 attack helicopter repairer assigned to the 3rd Sqn., 17th Cav. Regt, 3rd CAB, 3rd ID. “It took a lot of teamwork and determination to complete the event, but once I crossed the finish line and received my spurs it was all worth it.”
The division-wide joint spur ride concluded with a ceremony held at Wright Army Airfield on Fort Stewart, Georgia, where spur candidates that were still standing were inducted into the Order of the Spur and presented with the coveted silver spurs, receiving the title of spur holder and celebrating with a barbecue lunch.
Story by Sgt. Savannah Roy
3rd Infantry Division