Before the morning fog had completely lifted on July 9, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets of 1st and 2nd regiments formed up to run approximately 2.5 miles.
Despite the early hour and heart rate- raising distance, the regimental run did not primarily serve a fitness purpose. In physically running as a unit, the Cadets symbolized their cohesion as a group at the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Cadet Rebecca Gogue, Bravo Co., 1st Regiment, a student at Colorado State University and from Aurora, Colo., said she thought the run was fun and easy.
“It was involving everyone,” said Gogue. “It was not a fast pace.”
Gogue said her school usually requires three or four mile runs, so she felt prepared for the jaunt with her entire regiment. She said calling cadence throughout the nearly 20 minutes of the run helped keep the mood light.
“I like to run, I’m just not very good at it,” she said. “It’s enjoyable regardless of whether you’re good at it or not.”
Even though the Cadets have not run in several days, Gogue said that didn’t matter.
“We walk everywhere, so it’s not like we completely lost our cardio for 29 days,” she said.
Gogue also said Cadre and Cadets alike did not doubt that they could all make the run without stopping or falling out. She said the reason for that was not just fitness.
“[The run] wasn’t to test [our] physical ability,” she said. “It was to come together as a regiment.”
Cadet Stephen Hoxsie, a health and physical education major from Slippery Rock University and Slippery Rock, Pa., said he saw the regimental run as “more of a celebratory thing” because it’s the last thing the Cadets will do together.
“It’s a good morale-builder,” said Hoxsie. “At the end of training, it keeps everyone’s spirits up.”
Cadet De’Shawn Smith, Bravo Co., 1st Regiment, from Clarksville, Tenn., and a student at Austin Peay State University, said keeping everyone at the same pace may seem difficult, but like Gogue, he thought the cadence helped.
“Instead of everybody running by themselves and doing their own thing, the cadence keeps everybody together,” said Smith.
For everyone to join as a unit one more time before graduation, Smith said it could be beneficial for the Cadets’ futures as Army officers.
“When you’re building that morale in training now, you’ll know how to build it for the people that you’re leading later,” he said. “[The run] builds everybody’s unity, so when you build that unity now, you know what it looks like in the future.”
Story by Monica Spees.