Throughout 2018, Paratroopers of this Brigade Combat Team accomplished tremendous feats with the professionalism and expertise America expects of the 82nd Airborne Division.
During All American Week, you dominated the entire competition with 1Fury earning the title as best battalion. Later, you successfully and seamlessly transferred the Global Response Force Mission to the Falcon Brigade. Recently, you demonstrated the technical and tactical expertise of the Brigade at Network Integration Evaluation 18.2 at Fort Bliss.
In teams and individually, members of the Brigade embodied the grit, tenacity and lethality of the American Paratrooper. Mortarmen from 1-505th PIR won the Army’s Best Mortar Competition for the second year in a row, Staff Sgt. Drew Lehman from 5-73 CAV brought the honor of Division Jumpmaster of the Year to the Brigade, Spc. Christian Caudle from 2-505th PIR was named the Division Soldier of the Year, Staff Sgt. Miguel Mattias from 5-73 CAV was co-victor in the Division Best Medic and there are many more who distinguished themselves.
As we enter the Holiday Block Leave period, Command Sgt. Maj. Teakell and I want to reinforce this should be a time of rest, enjoyment and reflection. This leave period is set aside for us to appreciate the company of loved ones and friends at an unhurried pace.
In quiet moments, I encourage you to reflect upon your personal and professional achievements while fortifying your resolve to make 2019 your best year yet.
Celebrate responsibly and indulge sensibly – even during this holiday season, you are a member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division; expected by our nation to jump, fight and win on any drop zone in the world.
Command Sgt. Maj. Teakell and I remain humbled and honored to lead this exceptional brigade of All American paratroopers.
We wish you safe travels, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Col. Art Sellers, Brigade Commander
Command Sgt. Maj. Reese Teakell, Brigade Command Sergeant Major
Cavalry paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division recently proved themselves worthy to wear spurs.
Paratroopers assigned to the 73rd Cavalry Regiment elements in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Combat Aviation Brigades of the 82nd Airborne Division conducted a Spur Ride on Fort Bragg in late November, ending in a Spur Ceremony on Wednesday, November 28th.
“Any day spent under the shade of red and white guidons is a great day,” said Maj. Shawn McNicol, the Executive Officer for 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division during his opening comments. “However, today is especially significant as we are able to bring together three Squadrons of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment in a single event of comradery and fellowship.”
The tradition of the Spur Ride draws from the heritage of U.S. Cavalry units. When new soldiers arrived to cavalry units, they required extensive training in horsemanship and mounted swordsmanship. These soldiers’ received a horse with a shaved tail, identifying them as a potential hazard and requiring extra space in which to train and operate.
While riding a “shave tail,” new Cavalry soldiers were not permitted to wear spurs, as their undisciplined use would only worsen a problem.
Only after extensive training and evaluation proving their skill at maneuvering a horse and wielding a sword would a Cavalry soldier be presented with spurs and his horse be permitted to grow out their shaved tail.
“The modern-day Spur Ride provides a Cavalry paratrooper a true gut-check; the means to do a personal assessment of their grit and determination,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Hartsock, Commander of 5-73 CAV. “Wearing spurs means a cavalry paratrooper persevered. They were pushed to their physical and mental limits and they emerged victorious.”
Spur candidates, known as “Shave Tails,” underwent the thirty six hour long Spur Ride with minimal opportunity to rest and even less chances to sleep. As temperatures dipped below freezing in the November North Carolina winter, candidates continued to demonstrate their knowledge of Cavalry history, tactics, medical techniques and airborne proficiency.
“As a Cavalry paratrooper, the only thing more memorable than receiving your spurs is placing them on the heel of a candidate you sponsored through their Spur Ride,” continued Hartsock. “The Cavalry community here on Fort Bragg is strong and events like this continue our long and proud history.”