NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.
With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.
Pfc. Brian Watts’ uniform was still dripping when he stepped off the bus. His body ached. His eyelids felt heavy. And tucked under his right arm was a brown stick horse with a plush head.
“His name’s Fred,” the 21-year-old Georgia native said Friday, his sentences interrupted by laughs. “They gave it to me in the beginning, and I had to keep up with him the whole time. I’m supposed to gallop with him everywhere I go. But it’s over and done with, so I’m not galloping anymore.”
That pretty much summed up the previous 36 hours for Watts, a human resources specialist with Fort Lewis’ 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. He and 46 others had just finished one of the cavalry’s oldest traditions, a “spur ride” that tests their skills and ends with the soldiers receiving a set of silver spurs they can wear on their boots.
The test is physically and mentally taxing, but also a source of humor. Any scolding from the experienced soldiers running the courses was delivered through a wide smile. Newbies tried to stifle laughs while doing push-ups amid a barrage of water balloons or being called “spur maggots.”
Read more »