1-17 Cavalry


1. Purpose: This charter describes the 1st Squadron (Air), 17th Cavalry's spur training program. This program is the Squadron's leader development program and is not voluntary. This program's success is dependent on leader involvement. The intent is to provide a universal framework within which troopers can develop into future leaders with the necessary tactical, technical, and communicative ability to "lead from the front". The Leadership Certification Program establishes the requirements to become a member of the "Order of the Spur" and earn a coveted position in the "Fellowship of the Winged Spur". Successful completion of these requirements will result in that Officer being awarded a set of spurs. The word Officer refers to all officers whether commissioned, warrant, or non-commissioned. Section IV describes the proper wear of the Cavalry Stetson and of the Spurs once awarded. Section V covers the rules of the mess that will be followed at the Spur dinner where "Shave Tails" will be inducted into the "Order of the Spur.

2. General: The Spurs program is an old tradition practiced by every cavalry unit. The Order of the Spur is as old as the cavalry itself. Following is a brief summary of this tradition: When green troopers first arrived at their new cavalry assignments they were assigned a horse with a shaved tail. This led to the nickname "Shave Tail" for newly assigned, spurless soldiers. When they arrived at their first cavalry assignment they were in need of extensive training, especially in the area of swordsmanship from atop a horse. The horse with a shaved tail was given extra space in which to operate since it's rider was marked as an amateur. During this phase of training the troopers were not allowed to wear spurs because this would only serve to compound their problems. Only when they were able to prove their ability to perform with their horse and saber were they awarded spurs. Keeping to the traditions of the cavalry, the 1-17th Cavalry has it's own spurs program to fit it's unique mission and organization.

3. Spur Committee:

a. Composition:
(1) Chairman: The Squadron Commander
(2) Members:
The Squadron Command Sergeant Major
The Officer in the Squadron who has worn spurs for the most amount of time (from original date of award).
The Warrant Officer who has worn spurs for the most amount of time (from original date of award).
The NCO in the Squadron who has worn spurs for the most amount of time(from original date of award).
The Junior Ranking Officer Spur Holder (Squadron Spurs Officer)

b. Purpose:
To coordinate, plan and manage the operation of the Squadron Spur training program and all related activities and ceremonies.
c. Squadron Spurs Officer duties:
(1) Maintain the Master Spurs Book which contains all applicable material for the continuity of the program.
(2) Recorder for all spur meetings.
(3) Program director for all Spur ceremonies and activities directed by the Spur Committee.
(4) Maintain a historical record of all Spur inductees.

4. Changes to this Charter:
Changes to this charter will only be made by a majority vote of the Spurs membership. (Unless countermanded by the Spur committee chairman.)

5. Criteria for awarding Spurs :

a. Any who has previously been entered into the "ORDER OF THE SPUR" or served in a cavalry unit in combat is required to take the 1-17th Cavalry Regimental/Squadron Written Test to be inducted into the "Fellowship of the Winged Spur".
b. Any Officer who has not served in a Cavalry unit in combat or has not previously be entered into the "ORDER OF THE SPUR" must have served with the Squadron for six months, completed the leaders certification program, and pass the Spur Ride to be inducted into the "ORDER OF THE SPUR". It is preferred to complete the leaders certification course before taking the SPUR Ride but not required..
c. The Spurs Committee conducts final review of all spur nominees, is the waiver authority for the award of new spurs and reviews documentation of previously earned spurs.
d. No Officer will be awarded spurs if they do not meet the Army height/weight standards IAW AR 600-9.
e. All Officers assigned to the 1-17th Cavalry will participate in the leader development program. Paying the dues for the spurs is optional. Officers (Commissioned, Warrant and NCOs) attached to the 1-17th Cavalry are highly encouraged to participate.

6. Removal from the "Fellowship of the Winged Spur".
Any Officer or NCO who fails to maintain Army height and weight standards, pass the APFT, or receives punishment under the UCMJ will be deleted from the Order of the Spur.

7. Spurs Ceremonies:

a. Spurs will be awarded at a ceremony which reflects the highly respected status in which they are held in the cavalry community. Spurs are a highly visual symbol which represents the demonstrated qualities of professional excellence which all cavalrymen hold in common: Esprit de corps, technical and tactical competence and common sense judgment.
b. Spur Award Ceremonies will be dining-ins and will be held at least semi-annually. Invited are all Spur Holders and guests that have been approved by the Spur Committee.
c. It will be at these ceremonies that "Shave Tails" who have earned the right to wear spurs will be formally acknowledged.

8. Spurs Job Books:

a. The Spur Job Book is the official record of a Shave Tail's quest for spurs. This charter which contains the job book will be issued to each new Officer by the Squadron S-1 during in-processing.
b. This job book will be maintained by the individual job book holder.
c. Commander's are responsible for documentation verifying Job Book entries.
d. At least two weeks prior to the next Spur ceremony, all aspiring troopers will have their Spurs Job Book reviewed by the Spurs Committee.
e. All Job Books must meet the approval of the Spur Committee.

[Leaders Certification Program]
[The Spur Ride] [The Wear Of Cavalry Accouterments] [Rules Of The Mess]

[1-17th History] [Cavalry Traditions] [Cavalry Links]
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Last update 1 June 97