1-5 CAV holds first South Korean spur ride, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team
CAMP HOVEY – The 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a spur ride at Camp Casey, South Korea, Jan. 21.
Black Jack Soldiers hoping to earn their silver spurs completed a variety of team-oriented tasks set up throughout the post, including a test of unit history, weapons familiarization, first aid, and a mystery event.
Spc. Jacob Harmon, a 32-year-old cavalry scout from Oregon, currently assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 1-5 CAV, supported the spur ride by volunteering in the mystery event.
“What I’m doing is putting on a brawl suit to simulate a combat situation while a three-man team clears a building,” said Harmon.
The building in question is the tiny gym located on the hillside behind the 1-5 CAV headquarters. Normally, clearing the two-room building wouldn’t be a problem for the spur candidates, but the instructors have been running a smoke machine inside the gym, obscuring vision to the point that you can barely see five feet in front of you.
“You have an individual that has a hostile intent towards the people that are clearing the building themselves,” said Harmon. “It’s our task to put the team in a hostile situation.”
Harmon hides behind an overturned desk towards the back of the gym. The three-man team clears the first room and stacks on the doorway of the second.
The trio glides onto the gym floor, fanning out to cover the building from wall to wall once the team leader gives the signal.
The instructors have cleared a 15- foot stretch of floor in the second room of any furniture or equipment. Since the windows are covered, the only thing the Soldiers can see in front of them is the thick, curling wall of smoke.
The sight causes the group to stutter in their previously smooth routine. Harmon chooses this moment to strike.
He doesn’t yell. The only thing the Soldiers hear is the soft tap of sprinting feet before Harmon collides with the one closest to him, propelling them both to the ground.
The Soldier yells, “Contact!” and his comrades are with him in an instant, managing to restrain Harmon safely in handcuffs after a brief struggle.
“We were ready for anything, and that’s what we needed to be,” said 1st Lt. Shawn Platz, infantryman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-5 CAV.
On the other side of Camp Casey, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Nennig, an infantryman with Bravo Company, 1-5 CAV, oversees a group of spur candidates as they disassemble and reassemble a variety of weapons systems while blindfolded with the assistance of an unhindered partner.
“The goal for this station isn’t to ensure that Soldiers are trained in disassembling their weapons,” said Nennig.
“Each event has its own purpose. Right here, what we’re trying to emphasize is teamwork and a bit of leadership too.”
Despite the bitter chill, Nennig doesn’t mind doing his part to help the next generation of cavalry Soldiers earn their spurs.
“You don’t get promotion points for the spur ride and it doesn’t go on your Enlisted Record Brief. However, at the end of your career, the spurs are going to go somewhere in your house,” said Nennig. “You’re going to put it up somewhere and say yeah, I got to do this, and I got to do this with good friends.”