• December 26, 2014

Black Jack spouses complete obstacles, earn spurs

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Wed Nov 20, 2013.

With mud and grass stains streaked across their pants and their hair tousled with dirt and debris, the spouses of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division surmounted five obstacles to emerge victorious.

More than 80 Army spouses gathered at the Warrior Skills Training Center on Nov. 7 to face the obstacles before them and ultimately earn their spurs during the brigade’s Spouse’s Spur Ride.

“(A spur ride) is a series of events and challenges that test (a) soldier’s skills and abilities, their fitness, their endurance,” said Lt. Col. Michael Kielpinski, commander of Task Force Pershing, the brigade’s rear detachment.

While a typical spur ride for soldiers would last three days and include a physical fitness test, an obstacle course and a ruck march, the spouse version was not quite as intense.

“The intent is to give the spouses a taste or a feel for what the soldiers go through when they go through their spur ride,” Kielpinski said. “But also some of the things they do in their daily duties, so we try to incorporate a little bit of both into the event.”

It began at 9 a.m., ended at noon, and included five stations in which the unit’s spouse’s conducted physical training; weapons familiarization, assembly and disassembly; a scenario at the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000; and an obstacle course.

“I’ve wanted to do one since I heard about it, which was a long time ago,” said Lauren Vines, spouse of Sgt. 1st Class Johnathon Vines, a platoon sergeant in 4th Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment. “And I’m really competitive.”

Not only did the spouses bond through the shared experience of the spur ride, but also through the shared experience of the brigade’s current deployment to Afghanistan.

“We have to keep in mind we’re half-way through with the deployment, so we just wanted to put on a fun event for the spouses,” Kielpinski said.

The majority of the participant’s spouses are deployed, he said.

After the spouses completed the five stations, they attended an awards ceremony and lunch where they were presented with their spur certificates and a keychain with a set of silver spurs attached.

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