Space Force Guardians partake in Spur Ride

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nicholas Paczkowski
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
On the early morning of April 29, three U.S. Space Force Guardians set off to participate in the U.S. Army Cavalry’s Spur Ride tradition, hosted by the 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas.
This tradition dates back to when the cavalry was founded in 1861. When cavalry soldiers arrived at their new units and were assigned their horses, they were taught how to ride and wield their sabers at the same time. Once they mastered this skill, they would then be awarded their spurs. 
The tradition of a cavalry soldier earning their spurs has formed into what is known as a Spur Ride, where these soldiers are tested physically, mentally and emotionally. They go through ruck marches, low crawl through sand and go through a total of over 20 hours of physical challenges.
“Candidates will be awake for long periods of time while participating in the Spur Ride,” said U.S. Army Spc. Abraham Benitez, 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment cavalry scout. “It’s not just the physical aspect that they have to be ready for, it’s also tough on them mentally as they have to be knowledgeable on what they’re doing.”

Although this tradition is meant to be for cavalry soldiers, other branches and units have participated, however, during this particular Spur Ride, history was made as three Space Force Guardians became the first in their branch to earn their spurs:
U.S. Space Force Capt. Bradley Evans
U.S. Space Force 1st Lt. Jackson Jennings
U.S. Space Force 1st Lt. Jordan Savage
“I think us participating helps to get the name of the Space Force out there,” said Jennings, Los Angeles Air Force Base space systems command program manager. “I had people come up to me during this event asking what we do in the Space Force because no one understands our mission, but us participating in this event allows people to understand that we are as capable as other branches of the military.”
Similar to the Air Force tactical air control party and combat control Airmen have provided ground combat units with air power capabilities for decades, Guardians may also provide the same type of assistance but with support assets in space instead of the air. These Guardians completing the Spur Ride is just one small step taken by the Space Force to see what capabilities and strengths can be brought to the table in the event of a conflict with a modern adversarial military.
“The Air Force has its TACPs, I think it’d be amazing since we have space capabilities coming down the pipeline to have forward-deployed space operators as well,” said Evans, White Sands Missile Range developmental engineer. “This event shows that Guardians can fill in those positions and I think that there are other Guardians out there that would be more than willing to fill those roles.”
Since the Space Force is a new branch of the military, these three Guardians can take what they’ve learned from the Army Cavalry and build off of those traditions to help better Space Force personnel in the future. 
“I wanted to be a part of this because the Army has been around for a long time and they have such a rich culture, which we don’t have because the Space Force is so new,” said Savage, Los Angeles AFB space systems command project manager. “It was awesome coming here and seeing how they build traditions as well as how they build their troops to become better. 
Having Space Force Guardians train with Army Soldiers will help down the line as there may come a time that forward deployed Guardians are needed.