FORT HOOD — About 40 spouses from 3rd Cavalry Regiment “Brave Rifles” got a chance to experience part of the long-standing tradition of Calvary soldiers on Tuesday with a spouse spur ride on Fort Hood.
The spouse spur ride kicks off a weeklong series of sporting events and competitions as part of Brave Rifles Week, leading up to the 173st birthday of the unit this Saturday.
“We have such a long and deep tradition and legacy. And it’s important, not just for us, but for other veterans and alumni of 3rd Cavalry Regiment that they see that we are carrying on their traditions and legacies.” said Lt. Col. Kent Park, 3rd Cavalry Regiment’s Thunder Squadron commander.
The exercises are mentally and physically demanding, but they build teamwork and a support system for the spouses. Allowing the spouses to gain an appreciation for a soldier’s job day in and day out. The activities included room-clearing drills, combat life-saver exercises, grenade tossing and simulated weapons training.
“You really have to trust the people who are right beside you. Like the teamwork and helping everybody to be together and making sure you are all on the same page. And seeing everything get done in a timely manner,” said Army spouse Christina Boutwell.
“This whole experience has been eye opening. I honestly thought my husband was just trained to fight, not knowing that there is so much he needs to know to go out and protect his battle buddies out in the field,” Boutwell added.
The spur ride is a 3rd Cavalry Regiment tradition, dating back a over a hundred years to the American Indian War.
A spouse spur ride soon followed because families followed soldiers to the frontier. They needed to know what to do in case an outpost was attacked. Today, spur rides have evolved to simulate combat situations in Afghanistan or Iraq and are used as ways to bring soldiers and their families together.
“Cultivating the spirit of the cavalry, the spirit of having pride in your Army unit, and really knowing it’s a family affair is what this and Brave Rifles is all about,” said Marsha Byrom, spouse of the regimental commander.