The 3rd Cavalry Regiment celebrated 171 years of continuous service this week during Brave Rifles Week.
During the weeklong festivities at Fort Hood, 48 military spouses took part in a spouse spur ride event Monday afternoon.
Spouse spur rides are a long-standing tradition in cavalry units — which began during the American-Indian wars — and it is believed that they were designed to teach spouses how to stay safe during a potential enemy attack, said Lt. Col. Mark Belinskly, commander of Sabre Squadron.
“The ultimate idea here though is to bring the spouses in for a fun event that gives them an idea of what their spouses do every day, but it also builds relationships between them,” he continued. Relationships that can develop into a support channel for spouses during hard times such as deployments.
After a military style warm-up, the spouses were divided into four groups and were guided through a series of training events such as: emergency rollover training, simulated convoy operations and room clearing, a leadership training obstacle course, and a shooting range.
This year’s spur ride was the first for Kelley Rhodes, spouse of Maj. John Rhodes, executive officer for Sabre Squadron.
“I think it’s great that they incorporate the wives and try to get them involved,” she said. “It’s really nice to get to meet some of the other wives especially since we don’t live that close to base.”
For DaShannon Wilson, spouse of Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Wilson, command sergeant major for Sabre Squadron, going through the spur ride was not only tough but also rewarding.
“The obstacles (leadership training course) were the hardest because it takes team work. We really have to communicate and rely on each other,” she said. “The clearing the room — same thing but it was dark in there and for us it’s kind of more play than real life; here if we don’t work together we are going to fall in the water, for real.”
The weeklong celebration also included team sporting competitions, a wreath laying memorial ceremony, barbecue lunch for current and past members of the regiment, paintball tournament and a golf scramble.
The week’s events are designed to promote team building and strengthen the bond of soldiers in the regiment, while honoring the regiment’s storied history and long-standing cavalry traditions.