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Sgt. Doug Roles, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – 08.12.2009
Troopers with the 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, are leaving Iraq with new spurs jangling from their combat boots.
In keeping with cavalry tradition, troop commanders conducted award ceremonies, at the "Fiddler's Green" rest area of the squadron's footprint. The area is the namesake of a poem about the final resting place of all cavalry Soldiers.
"When a Cav Soldier dies, he goes to a place called Fiddler's Green," 1st Lt. Duncan MacQueen, unit public affairs representative for the 2-104th said. "It's a place for the spirits of Cav Soldiers."
Maj. Guy Smith, information officer for the 2-104th, explained that in peace time, troopers can earn their silver spurs through a challenging process known as a spur ride. It tests physical endurance and Soldier skills, including land navigation, rifle marksmanship and a road march.
"The spur ride is what's done in peace time to earn them," Smith said. "It's usually pretty physically demanding."
Troopers of the 2-104th have earned their gold combat spurs with months of sweat and courage.
Presiding over spur ceremonies, troop commanders "knight" Soldiers with cavalry sabers, granting them the right to wear the spurs. Overall, commanders presented spurs to almost 800 troopers.
"All who are assigned to cavalry [unit] for a combat tour receive gilded spurs," Smith explained. It's our entire squadron and then those who served with us."