FORT HUACHUCA — The installation’s beloved B Troop gained four new members on Friday morning who earned their spurs after weeks of training with their magnificent mounts.

The four, all active members of the Army and the Navy, were honored at a ceremony hosted by Fort Huachuca Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland.

Dressed in a U.S. Cavalry uniform, Moreland, the honorary commander and colonel of B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (memorial), lauded the four new inductees for their countless hours of volunteer service with their horses.

Aside from their regular duties, B Troop members care for their own horse. The responsibility is daily and entails feeding, grooming and cleaning up after the animal in the morning and afternoon as well as riding the equine for exercise and training at least twice a week.

“It takes action and commitment,” Moreland said.

According to the U.S. Army, “The 4th Cavalry Regiment is one of the most famous and most decorated regiments in the United States Army. Since its activation in 1855, the 4th Cavalry has continuously served the United States of America in peace and war.

“The unit is officially established by regulation and funded by the Army. The unit has a zero-manpower authorization and relies on volunteers to fill its ranks. Members are drawn from active duty, reserve, and retired military personnel, Department of Defense civilians employed at Fort Huachuca, and military dependants 18 years of age and older. Members of the unit are uniformed, equipped, and armed in accordance with U.S. Cavalry standards of the 1880s.

“A Ladies Auxiliary supports B Troop, primarily by participating in parades riding sidesaddle and wearing period authentic clothing, and may assist with horse care and training. An artillery section known as K Battery also supports B Troop. These members do not ride, but operate the Troop’s 1840 mountain howitzer at ceremonies and public events.”

Moments after B Troop Commander Maj. Eddie Gonzalez led his troops down Brown Parade Field for the wildly popular pistol charge, Moreland presented the four new members with their spurs on a wooden tray.

Standing in a line in front of the honorary commander, the new B Troop members all went down on one knee and got to work when Moreland said, “Troopers don your spurs.”

For 21-year-old Pfc. Roberto Herrera, assigned to the installation’s Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, the moment was savored.

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride horses ever since I was little,” said the Tucson native.

A fall from a horse at the age of 4 frightened Herrera for years, until he arrived at Fort Huachuca.

“When I found out I was going to be stationed here at Fort Huachuca I started looking into the different types of units,” he said. “I thought B Troop was a regular unit. I found out it was where they show you how to ride horses.”

Herrera said the training was daunting. It was the first time he had gotten back on a horse since his mishap as a youngster.

“It’s a lot getting used to,” Herrera said as he stroked the massive neck of his horse, Charlie. “They are way stronger than we are. Getting used to that mentally is the hardest part. You have to get over the fact that you’re dealing with an animal that’s 20 times your size.”

Once on Charlie’s back, the training began with walking, then trotting the mounts, Herrera said.

“Then we slowly kicked it up and started cantering,” Herrera said. “A couple of weeks ago we started doing the (pistol) charges. By the time I started doing the practice charges, I was a little nervous.”

Once he got used to charging across the field on his mount at about 30 to 40 miles an hour, Herrera said his fear quickly turned to excitement.

“I wanted to do it over and over again,” he said with a smile.

His B Troop colleague, Maj. Cassie Bonadeo, MEDDAC CFO at Fort Huachuca and a Michigan native, said she joined B Troop because she grew up around horses. Her assigned mount is named Jet.

“Just coming here and being part of this historic unit is an opportunity that you really don’t get anywhere else,” the 34-year-old said. “All the other cavalry units in the Army, and there are eight of them total, are units of assignment. This is the only you can volunteer for.

“This was just a really great opportunity to do something unique and go out and represent the history of this place.”

The two other B troop members are Navy Intelligence Spc. 1st Class Heather Genzler and Sgt. 1st Class Randall Link, the Operations NCOIC at Raymond W. Bliss. Genzler’s mount is Duke and Link’s mount is Cochise.

After the brief ceremony the new members stood beside their horses and talked with well-wishers. The horses were rewarded with sliced apples and carrots.

Herrera, the youngest of the four, said belonging to B Troop is not a job, but something he looks forward to daily because he has started bonding with Charlie.

“This is worth it,” he said. “I actually get excited when I see him (Charlie). Just recently he started coming out when he sees me.”