The tradition has its roots in knighthood, where the awarding of gilt spurs symbolized entry into ranks -- and fraternity
-- of mounted warriors. Usually, the squire aspiring to knighthood had to perform some task or deed on the battlefield or
tournament field (tournaments were considered like our training maneuvers) to "win their spurs". The spurs themselves were
buckled on during the investiture to knighthood -- usually during Mass or some other religious ceremony (knighthood itself
was considered sacramental, if not a sacrament itself). Thereafter, it was the spurs that symbolized that a man was a knight
-- not his sword, horse, or armor. No matter how financially destitute, a poor knight would part with everything else before
his spurs. The primary act of degradation (removing someone from the knightly class) was to have another knight cut off the
offending knights spurs. So much for the mists of time, It is not known when it was started in the US Cavalry.
Today the Order of the Spur recognizes individual qualifications for those in a cavalry unit. The privilege of being
awarded spurs in any Cavalry Unit comes with hard work and challenges. For an individual to qualify and compete for the Order
of the Spur within the Unit, the cavalry soldier must first meet or exceed the following established standards of performance:
Service in the Battalion for at least 180 days.
Service in at least three Field Exercises.
A score of at
least 240 in the last Army Physical Fitness Test.
Meet or exceed the weight standards according to AR 600-9.
to of "expert" or "sharpshooter" on personal weapon.
Possess the spirit, determination, cunning and initiative in the
finest traditions of the United States Cavalry.
Once documented as having achieved the above performance objectives, the candidate is designated to participate in
the Spur Ride Exercise. This exercise requires the completion of:
Land Navigation Problem Leadership
First Aid Administration
Weapons Deployment and
Signal and Communication Procedures
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Situation
Qualified Spur Ride [run]
Upon successful accomplishment of the above requirements, the Squadron Commander will award the Spurs to be proudly
worn throughout the Trooper's Cavalry Career.