Show of Unity
Joint Service Run focuses on resiliency, health, unity
By Brandon Bieltz
The estimated 2,400 participants were eager to begin the biannual Fort Meade Joint Service Run through the installation. Runners were led by Navy Rear Adm. Margaret DeLuca Klein, chief of staff of Cyber Command; Navy Vice Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the 10th Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command; Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Smith.
The theme of the three-mile run was resiliency, with the focus on the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program's five dimensions of strength: physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual.
"The joint service run is a great way to demonstrate physical, social and even family dimensions of strength during this rousing, postwide event," Smith said.
Runners were in formation by 6:30 a.m. for Reveille and an invocation from Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Sid Taylor. After a brief welcome from Smith, they marched off the parade field and onto English Avenue, picking up speed near Llewelyn Avenue.
The military cadences of the 30 units could be heard from a distance, as service members and civilians sped through the installation behind a pace-setting fire truck.
Runners began to arrive back to McGlachlin Parade Field around 7:10 a.m., returning to their formations in front of the gazebo. Once all units completed the run, service members and civilians stood in a horseshoe formation around the gazebo where Klein, Rothstein and Smith addressed the group.
Rothstein asked the runners to take a moment for self-actualization to realize what is important to them -- aspects of life that keep people healthy and resilient.
"What I'm going to share with you is you have to stay healthy and keep balancing your lives and your careers," he said. "You are the finest that our country has. Keeping you resilient, keeping you healthy is what this is all about."
While the three-mile run was an obvious sign of the physical dimension of strength, Klein said another aspect was evident throughout the event -- social.
"There were people singing Jodies [PT cadences], there were people telling jokes," she said. "There was more than just the physical dimension."
The installation sponsors joint service runs twice a year to build unity among service members of all branches, families and civilians working at Fort Meade, Smith said. Several of the runners said they enjoyed seeing the various branches participating together in the event.
"I thought it brought a good unity between the post," said Pfc. Cesar Isaza of the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion. "It was good seeing all the services get together. ... You don't see it often when all the services are together like this and everybody is motivated."
Air Force Tech Sgt. Gerry Volcy of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing agreed.
"I think it's great to showcase our unity," he said. "Although we wear different uniforms, the first two letters are always US. ... We are definitely united even though we wear different uniforms."
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