- Special Sections
Sgt. Joseph A. Hale (retired) from Blackfoot received his gold spurs Tuesday for being a soldier with the 116th HBCT (Heavy Brigade Combat Team) from Idaho. He served two tours of duty in Iraq.
Lt. Col. Kenyon Kofoed and Sgt. Marcus Adams made the presentation. Kofoed and Adams serve with the Idaho National Guard. Hale was recognized before all the employees at Spudnik in Blackfoot where he is employed.
Hale was recognized for being a soldier with Operation New Dawn whose aim was to free the people of Iraq. The certificate also noted his ability using a carbine, pistol and sabre.
"The Order of the Spur is awarded for serving in an armored cavalry unit," Kofoed said. "The soldier has completed the requirements 100 percent. It's go or no go.
"Gold spurs are awarded to individuals serving in a cavalry unit in combat," said Kofoed. "You have earned the right to wear them for always."
Hale was stationed in northern Iraq and served in the artillery with Alpha B (Battery) 1-148th Field Artillery from 2004-2005 in northern Iraq. The 1-148th Battery is composed of soldiers from Blackfoot.
All National Guard units in Idaho make up the 116th HBCT.
During his second tour of duty, he was part of camp security in 2010-2011 in southern Iraq.
He received his gold spurs for his service to the country during his second tour of duty from 2010-2011.
"The first tour of duty was more fun," Hale said. "The rules of engagement had changed a lot by my second tour of duty."
Hale served 13 1/2 years with the Idaho National Guard. He has since retired.
Hale works in the quality division at Spudnik.
Serving in the military is a Hale family tradition.
His father, Sidney, served in the regular Army for eight years. During his years of service, Hale senior served in Germany, Korea, Central America and Georgia, among other assignments. Hale senior is also employed at Spudnik as a lead machinist.