By Cadet Ali Pardue
During the fall semester of 2018, 13 cadets volunteered to represent the University of South Carolina’s ROTC program at the Army Ten Miler. This was the first time a group of cadets from our Gamecock Battalion organized participating in this race together.
Running in the Army Ten Miler is an opportunity open to all cadets who want to represent USC and push themselves physically. The cadets who volunteered this past year were able to bond through additional training and traveling together.
The Army Ten Miler is the second largest 10-mile race in the United States attracting over 35,000 runners. These runners include active military personnel, veterans, civilians, cadets, wounded warriors, and more. The mission of the Army Ten Miler is to “support Army outreach, build morale, and promote physical fitness.” As cadets and soon to be Army officers, we help embody this mission.
The Army Ten Miler holds an expo prior to the race day where our cadets were able to get free swag, network with active duty soldiers, and learn more about all the opportunities the Army has to offer. For example, two of our cadets spoke to psychological operations soldiers about their job and unique experiences. Meanwhile, other cadets were exposed to segments of the new Army Combat Fitness Test that will be introduced as the new fitness standard soon.
At the end of the race, everyone united and laughed about the highs and lows experienced during the 10-mile run. The Army is very small and the bonds we form as cadets during shared experiences like the Army Ten Miler helps build another family for us to have regardless of where our careers in the Army takes us.
While at the race, cadets ran into previous members of the Gamecock Battalion including the past principal of military science, Lieutenant Colonel Mixon, and recent alumna Second Lieutenant Sarah Scully.
In addition to the activities surrounding the race, cadets were able to tour our nation’s capital by visiting interesting museums and seeing famous monuments. Cadets shared that the Air and Space Museum and the Lincoln Memorial were two of their favorite attractions.
The Army Ten Miler was a very busy yet rewarding weekend for all the cadets and cadre involved. The Army ROTC program plans to continue participating in this event annually and hopes to see more cadets participate in the following years.