When John Wayne needed help, he called in the Cavalry – meaning the horsetop elites. “Elite” because it’s Pretty Damn Tough to fight effectively on thousand-pound steeds. But, if used properly, Equidaes allow a unit to outflank, out-surprise and overpower (fighting on Mustangs gives greater height, speed, and inertial mass than the unfortunate rest of the Army). And, because of these unique abilities, the Cav is often given long-range missions with little oversight. Things like scouting, screening, raiding, and skirmishing are the traditional roles.
Anyway, the Cav’s been around for a long, long time – although it didn’t really come into it’s own until the invention and adoption of the stirrup around the 7th century. And all that history breeds tradition. And a big, big part of that tradition is Earning Your Spurs. In the modern US Cavalry, you go on a Spur Ride about six months after you hit your first Cav unit.
It differs from post to post, but this time around I was required to (among other things) memorize and recite Fiddler’s Green, conduct a dismounted patrol, evaluate and treat a casualty, prepare a SINCGARS radio for transmission, maintain and load and clear a number of crew-served weapons, set up and use a Traffic Control Point, react to indirect fire, and knock out a 30-hour set of continuous high-tempo operations in a mock Iraqi-village. You know, the standard.
And now, on the last duty day of the week, and at all gatherings of True Cavalrymen, you’ll see me wearing a Stetson and Spurs, just like The Almighty:
And that about sums up my recent Armying. Two more Lieutenants hit my unit, which is always bueno. If the Army isn’t keeping us busy on the weekends, we usually do a pretty good job of it ourselves.
There’s always something new to do down here in The City At The End Of America, but me and the Hillbilly still try to jet town once a month. The last big trip was to Del Rio, which is about halfway down the Mex-Tex border. If you’re ever in the area, I recommend it. It’s a neat place with a lot of character.
And now, without further ramblings, a twenty-odd photo extravaganza: