Story and photos by Spc. Robert Holland
3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Cavalry Soldiers and their Families participated in back-to-back training events to foster team building, and to give the spouses and children a better understanding of what cavalry scouts do on a daily basis.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, participated in a three-day rigorous leader certification program, also known as a Spur Ride, May 21-23, while the Family event took place June 1.
Within the cavalry world, earning the privilege to wear spurs is an important rite of passage, and one of the highest honors a cavalry scout can earn, said Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin A. Rivera, senior enlisted adviser, 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg. Many consider it one of the crowning achievements of their military career.
“The Spur Ride is a mentally and physically demanding event that challenges Soldiers to push themselves in a tactical environment,” said Lt. Col. Stephen C. Marr, commander, 4th Sdn., 10th Cav. Reg. “Upon successfully completing the Spur Ride, our Soldier leaders have demonstrated to everyone that they have the skills, endurance and fortitude to lead.”
According to Rivera, developing leadership skills is just one of the reasons the unit conducts a spur ride at least annually. He said the Soldier spur ride and Family spur ride help build teamwork and camaraderie, both within the organization and the greater cavalry and Fort Carson communities.
“The whole concept is teamwork,” Rivera said. “In the Army, you do not do anything by yourself; it is always a whole team effort.”
Both Marr and Rivera said the spur ride events offer a greater purpose than just testing Soldiers’ leadership skills.
“Spurs symbolize all of the qualities of professional excellence that all cavalry troopers hold in common— esprit de corps, tactical and technical expertise, common sense, judgment and the ability to operate independently, with minimal guidance,” Marr said.
Lexie Coppinger, wife of Spc. Anthony Coppinger, cavalry scout, Troop C, 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg., and her daughter arrived to Fort Carson and the 3rd ABCT right before the spur ride events kicked off. New to the unit, the couple said they did not know anyone, and even though her husband had already earned his spurs and been inducted into the Order of the Spur, they jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the spur ride week activities.
“Both my husband and I think it is really nice to bring the entire team — Soldier and Family —together,” Lexie Coppinger said. “We just moved here, and the spur ride allowed my husband to interact and get to know the guys he works with better.”
She said her husband was not the only one to benefit.
“For me, the Family spur ride event gave me the incredible opportunity to meet other Families within the unit and start building a bond with them,” Lexie Coppinger said. “Just knowing others within the unit, and being given the opportunity to build new friendships, can help build morale, not just for the Soldiers, but the Families, too.”