“This morning we ran three miles,” said
Angha. “By the end of our training cycle at North Fort Hood,
we'll probably get to six miles.”
“Being in good physical fitness not only
helps Soldiers deal with stress and prepare themselves for
Iraq, but it also counts toward their promotion points,”
said 1st Sgt. Ed Schwaigert, HHB first sergeant.
Although Texas' humidity has been tough
on the Soldiers, running at sea-level is one benefit of
“It's a nice change of pace to run at
sea-level,” said Sgt. 1st Class Deborah Manzanares of
Fountain, Colo., with a smile.
Running early in the morning, starting
well before sunrise, the Soldiers run in formation and
sound-off as loudly as possible calling cadence.
“We expect all the NCOs
(Noncommissioned Officers) to take turns calling cadence,”
“By calling cadence, the Soldiers stay
in step and it also helps control their breathing,” Angha
said. “It also helps Soldiers practice taking charge of the
formation and leading.”
Many of the cadences are repeated each
“C-130 Rollin' Down the Strip,” “When My Granny” and “I can
run to [wherever] just like this.” Soldiers sometimes
incorporate clapping into the cadence to get everyone
Not only does the weekly run help the
battery come together, but HHB Soldiers also enjoy giving
the rest of the brigade a wake-up call bright and early,
whether it's the sound of them counting off to stretches,
cool down or running/walking cadence.
During the run, Soldiers get even more
motivated and call cadence even louder when someone grabs
the guideon, the unit flag, and runs around the formation.
“Having guideon bearers is a military
tradition, and it increases battery integrity when we have
volunteers from the formation take the guideon and run
around formation showing it off,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gene
Bendico of Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I think it's important to run; this is
a morale-booster to get everyone to run together as a
battery,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Alston of Harrisburg, Pa.
“It's good to build your endurance and increase your
stamina. This helps even more when we have to carry around a
lot of equipment.”
“I enjoy that we are the only battery
doing this,” said Spc. Nicholas Mathis, a resident of
Colorado Springs, Colo., with a smile. “It shows other units
that we are willing to put out that extra mile for each