Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Raymond German Jr. exercises on an
elliptical machine at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Dec. 14, 2011.
German uses physical fitness as a way to get out of the office and
relieve stress. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jeff Drew
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Jan. 30, 2012 – Running is in his
blood, so Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Raymond German Jr.'s passion for
the sport began at an early age.
The Detroit native began
running with his grandmother at a local park while growing up and
eventually found his stride running alongside friends on his high
school and college cross-country teams. Eventually, his love for
physical fitness found its niche in the Marine Corps, where a
1,000-mile challenge piqued his interest.
It began as the
Leatherneck Challenge, a series of mile markers suited to test the
endurance of any Marine. By running, biking, cross training and
rowing, German could have chosen 236, 472 or 944 miles, but he
decided to go the distance and push himself to 1,000.
became a challenge between me and one of the watch officers,” said
German, the legal chief for the office of the 2nd Marine Division's
staff judge advocate. “He was only out for a six-month deployment,
trying to reach 236 miles.”
The competition between the two
became fierce as they constantly tried to one-up each other.
“When I'd see him come in off a casual five-mile run, I would
immediately go do six miles,” said Melbourne, Fla., native Marine
Corps Capt. James Morgan, a government prosecutor with the 2nd
Marine Division's legal services support Section. “When I would come
in and boast that I just did seven miles in the 110-degree heat,
he'd go do eight miles in the 115-degree heat at an even better
“It was awesome,” the captain continued. “He is just an
animal when it comes to [physical training]. Even when he
was having a bad day because he wasn't able to talk to his
daughter or he hadn't heard from his family in a while, he'd
get out there and run his worries away. It was not only
awesome, it was inspiring.”
On duty, German reviews
and processes investigations within the entire division of
10,000 Marines. Running, he said, allows him to get out of
the office and relieve stress. It cleanses his soul and it
is where his mind can escape, he added.
about my daughter – she's about to be 7 this year,” German
said. “I think about her starting to run and following in my
footsteps. I think about things I could do to better myself.
My thoughts are random – as I'm running, they're running.”
For a long time, German used his runs as a way to train
for Camp Leatherneck's Marine Corps Marathon. With so many
miles to go, he spiced up his many runs around the base by
changing his routes frequently and challenging himself to
break personal records on various courses to avoid monotony.
When he wasn't hitting the pavement, he went to the
cardio gym to work out on an elliptical machine, treadmill
“It's very repetitive, but being able to get
out there and not worry about where you are, just worry
about your running – you kind of forget that you're running
in circles sometimes,” German said.
He finished the
1,000-mile challenge Jan. 16 with a morning run followed by
three miles in the cardio gym, only nine months after
beginning. His goals don't stop there though, as he is
training to beat a half-marathon time of an hour and 30
“It's about challenging yourself,” German
said. “It's pushing your body beyond its limits. As you get
older, you always want to put a goal out there in front of
By USMC Cpl. Jeff Drew
2nd Marine Division
American Forces Press Service
Comment on this article