Friday, November 4, 2011

What I Learned from our Cavalry Spouse Spur Ride

Our brigade hostes a Spouse Spur Ride today and I learned lots of new things.  Here are my biggest lessons learned ...
  1. The tradition of having to “earn your spurs” reaches back to the beginning of the Cavalry when green troopers arrived to their new cavalry units and were required to prove their proficiency and skills before they could earn the right to wear spurs with their uniform.
  2. The purpose of a Spouse Spur Ride is to build unit cohesion and learn more about what our Soldier heroes do each day while deployed ... and 'earn our spurs' as Cavalry spouses!
  3. ACU pants are not flattering on any female form.
The Field Artillery gun ... the Paladin!  Hooah!
Our battalion's CSM's wife and me in a Bradley.  The Soldiers stationed at this vehicle failed to convince me that this was cooler than a Paladin, but they did their best.  My observation was that the biggest difference I saw (other than the obvious size of the gun) was all the cushions on the seats in back.  They didn't think that was funny.
No room for claustrophobia as a tank driver!  And we didn't even close the hatch.  God bless our Soldiers and their willingness to take on crazy jobs in defense of our country.
I'm ready to check vehicles ... and gun down the bad guys if needed. I also learned that Soldiers REALLY don't want you to pull the "quick release" cord on their gear.  Here, I'm wearing SGT Jones' gear and he physically paled when I joked about using the quick release to get out of it.  Apparently, it's not easy to put back together.
Aforementioned 'bad guy' on the ground.  He was very poorly behaved and even reached for my weapon once.  I got to use my big voice and yell, "On your knees!"  He was a good sport.
Ready for the Warrior Skills Trainer
We're on a simulated convoy, armed and dangerous.
One group of the ladies who went through the Spur Ride.  Our field artillery battalion spouses went through the Spur Ride with the BSB spouses.  We had so much fun together!
This was the craziest station to me ... you actually get INSIDE these little boxes and simulate driving tanks and taking out 'bad guys' ... unfortunately, the building had a FIRE ALARM go off while we were enclosed in these things.  I had a crazy few minutes of wondering if anyone would remember which box I was in.  =)  It all turned out well and the simulator was very cool, and something totally new to me.  Very fun.
And yes, we marched in formation, cadences and all!
Ready for the obstacle course!
We competed in teams of three ... our team lost 1st place by just 3 seconds!
We threw hand grenades (aka water balloons) at Rear Detachment Soldiers.  The 'catch' was if they were able to catch your water balloon (instead of it exploding on them), they could return fire!  So fun!
Low-crawling (sort of) through the Obstacle Course.
Some Red Leg spouses carrying their injured to safety.  I love how the 'injured' is so happy!  =)
The litter carry ... with a pregnant 'injured' spouse.  We are hardcore.
Final formation for awards ... it was hilarious to watch these Soldiers work so hard to get this huge group of spouses into formations by battalion, then by alphabetical last names.  They're not used to leading people who don't already know how to get into a formation ... and who tend to chat and laugh and play while getting there.
Whole Group Photo ... we had over 200 spouses from 6 battalions from the Black Jack brigade.
Field Artillery Ladies (minus a few who had already headed home).
Red Dragons!

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