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545th Military Police Company

1st Cavalry Division

Order of the Spur

A Pictorial History

As February 13, 2012

 

One of the earliest known military decorations originates with the Pope in Rome and was originally awarded to Crusading Knights in medieval times.  There are no surviving documents to indicate when this award was first issued, but we do know that it was awarded to Knights of nobility and later to Kings and Queens or reigning monarchs with other titles.  This military award was known as The Order of the Golden Spur and is still referred to as such to this day.  Many countries also initiated a similar award for their military and it was usually presented for gallantry to cavalry or later armored corps officers.  Among these countries are: Italy, Monaco, Austria and Spain.  The last Order of the Golden Spur to be awarded by a Pope was presented to Prince Rainier III of Monaco for his service with the French Army during WW II.  The original award came with not only a pair of spurs but an extremely elaborate medal as well

 

 

This is an actual photo of the medal belonging to Prince Rainier

 

Many cavalry organizations in many armies of the world have carried this tradition on in one form or another and the 1st Cavalry Division is no exception.  The 545th Military Police Company also has a tradition of the Order of the Spur.

 

 

This is an actual copy of the certificate issued to all recipients of this award and was presented to 1SG Jody George on the 27th of June 2003 a Fort Hood, Texas by Captain Ian J. Townsend, Commander of the 545th MP Company.

 

This is the certificate that is issued by the Association

 to all Cavalry MPs who have served in Combat with the 545th MP Company.

 

 

Order of the Spur

 

The tradition has its roots in knighthood, where the awarding of gilt spurs symbolized entry into ranks – and fraternity – of mounted warriors.  Usually, the squire aspiring to knighthood had to perform some task or deed on the battlefield or tournament field to “win their spurs.”  The spurs themselves were buckled on during the investiture to knighthood usually during Mass or some other religious ceremony.  Thereafter, it was the spurs that symbolized that a man was a knight – not his sword, horse or armor.  No matter how financially destitute, a poor knight would part with everything else before his spurs.  The primary act of degradation (removing someone from knightly class) was to have another knight cut off the offending knights spurs. 

Today the Order of the Spur recognizes individual qualification for those in a Cavalry unit.  The privilege of being awarded spurs in any Cavalry unit comes with hard work and challenges.  For an individual to qualify and compete for the Order of the Spur within the unit, the Cavalry soldier must first meet or exceed the following standards of performance:

 

Service in the division for six months

Score of 250 in the APFT

Qualify Sharpshooter or above on personal weapon

Grade of E-4 or above and team leader or above in the company

Complete Spur Ride exercise, consisting of six team solider skill events

 

Upon successful accomplishment of the requirements, the Senior Officer awards the spurs to be proudly warn throughout the Trooper’s Cavalry career.

 

 

We are fortunate enough to have a photograph of an award ceremony which took place in Baghdad, Iraq:

 

 

In addition to the requirements stated above for award of the Order of the Spur stateside,  any 545th MP who served in combat while assigned or attached to the 1st Cavalry Division is entitled to wear both the Cavalry Stetson and the Spurs automatically.  Unlike the MOI for the Stetsons, there are no guidelines that I can find for the wearing of the spurs being authorized for combat veterans, but it has been an unwritten policy since at least Vietnam according to LTC John Pearson, PM, 1CD, Phouc Vinh, RVN.

 

Order of the Spur Ceremony Conducted by the 312th MI Bn. 6th Platoon 545 was attached to them in OIF2 and all were awarded spurs.

 




All the good Cavalrymen lined up and ready to receive their spurs in Iraq

 

 



545th MP SSG John McQueen receiving his hand shake after his award of the Certificate

 

Old Brown Shoe Army Horse Cavalry Spurs as worn at Ft Bliss, Texas by the old MP Platoon, HQS Troop, 1st Cavalry Division.


 

This document prepared by:

Sam Reinert
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
Founder
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX
http://545thmpassn.com/