545th Military Police
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
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
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
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,
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.
good Cavalrymen lined up and ready to receive their spurs in
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
This document prepared by:
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX