APSU ROTC Cadet highlights importance of regimental unity

Story submitted by Monica Spees

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – With graduation right around the corner, 1st and 2nd Regiment Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets at the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course set out amidst the dense morning fog July 9 on a regimental run to enhance esprit de corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Despite the early start and limited visibility on the roadways, the participating Cadets happily took to the streets knowing they were only two days from completing what they had set out to accomplish 27 arduous days earlier.

Cadet Stephen Hoxsie, a health and physical education major from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Penn., saw the regimental run as a form of celebration 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.”

Even a few Cadets that don’t excel at the run enjoyed the two-mile jaunt with their new-found friends.

“I like to run, I’m just not very good at it,” said Cadet Rebecca Gogue, Bravo Co., 1st Regiment, from Aurora, Colo. and a student at Colorado State University. “It’s enjoyable regardless of whether you’re good at it or not.”

While running is usually about physical fitness, the regimental run was more about bringing the regiment together as a unit.

“[The run] wasn’t to test [our] physical ability,” said Gogue. “It was to come together as a regiment. It was involving everyone.”

Cadet De’Shawn Smith, Bravo Co., 1st Regiment, from Clarksville, Tenn., and a student at Austin Peay State University, said singing cadence helped keep everyone at the same pace. “Instead of everybody running by themselves and doing their own thing, the cadence kept everybody together,” said Smith.

Smith said that for everyone to join as a unit one more time before graduation 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,” said Smith. “[The run] builds everybody’s unity, so when you build that unity now, you know what it looks like in the future.”