Troopers of Fort Hood’s reconnaissance unit got the opportunity to prove themselves true cavalrymen last week during 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment’s first ever spur ride.

In a 10- to 15-mile course at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area on April 23, 110 soldiers were challenged on the various aspects of their reconnaissance mission and had to work together to complete many tasks.

After the course, which included using Zodiac boats, a ruck march with an additional 45-pound weight and “mounted” reconnaissance on bicycles, soldiers went before a board of spur-holders to answer questions about the unit’s history and cavalry traditions.

“One thing I wasn’t expecting was the bike ride,” said Spc. Douglas Teed, a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop.

“It was a good experience,” he said of participating in the event.

Of those who competed in the spur ride, 80 were welcomed into the Order of the Spur and are now able to wear silver spurs to unit functions. Gold spurs are earned by soldiers who complete a combat tour with a cavalry unit.

“I’ve looked forward to this since basic training,” said Pfc. James Fillon, a cavalry scout with Alpha Troop, as he awaited the spur board. “It’s a rite of passage into the cavalry and to carry on the traditions that have been in the Army for a very long time.”

The “Phantom Recon” command team also participated in the spur ride, which Fillon said showed the unity of the squadron, which falls under 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.

“There’s a lot of team cohesion here and that’s a big part of the tradition,” Fillon said.

It was the first spur ride for both Lt. Col. John Cogbill and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph C. Cornelison.

“This was a great event and it was physically challenging,” Cornelison said. “Being a cavalry unit and an airborne-infantry type unit, it’s good to do these physical events. ... It’s also good for the new guys who don’t know their limits.”

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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