SGT Jason Gets His Spurs

SGT Jason catches a seven-minute nap during hour seventeen

Just wanted to share with NVO readers a few words on my buddy SGT Jason, from Charlottesville, Virginia (you just knew there was going to be a Northern Virginia connection!).  SGT Jason is a great guy -he’s a father, a husband, and an accomplished hunter. He’s a mobilized Reservist in Iraq with me, and every time we chat, our conversations revolve around our families or what we are going to hunt when we get back to the States – and  what guns we are going to use.

He first joined the Army in 1986.  He had a long break in service, but he couldn’t stand seeing his brothers-in-arms having all the fun to themselves any longer,  and jumped back in a few years ago.

Since we are attached to Third Armored Corps (Black Knights!), he was eligible to put his body through a 19-hour torture test to earn his “combat spurs”.   Cavalry Soldiers who complete a “spur ride” in a combat zone earn the right to wear gold spurs, on certain occasions, in uniform.  It is a great honor, and connects the modern-day Cav Soldier to those troopers who rode west in faded blue uniforms back in the 1800’s. The test is a mental and physical endurance event that relies on teamwork and intestinal fortitude to complete.

Earning the spurs entailed almost twenty-four hours of timed events that had to be completed in full body armor, helmet and carrying a rifle – in 100 degree heat.  SGT Jason’s day started off with an hour of calisthenics followed by a six-mile road march with a 42 pound rucksack, plus body armor – while wearing a gas mask, three-second rushes up and down Camp Slayer’s Signal Hill, a marksmanship event interspersed with even more calisthenics, and a simulated hostage-rescue staged in the ill-named “Victory Over America” palace. And they were just the warm-up.

SGT Jason called it a grueling “non-stop smoke session”, but in the end he now has the right to wear his spurs, along with his combat patch and jump wings. Congrats to Jason and all the Third Corps Soldiers who “earned their spurs” this tour in the sandbox!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by NC on October 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

    That is so awesome – congratulations to SGT Jason for earning his “combat spurs”!

    I really enjoyed reading this – keep up the great work! 🙂



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