Runners on the road
Unit leaders and Soldiers should use authorized running routes when conducting PT on USAG-HI installations, such as these U.S. Army-Pacific Soldiers seen above.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- An updated U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Physical Training policy memo issued July 31 provides unit leaders information about authorized running routes and outlines pedestrian rights throughout USAG-HI installations.

The memo, signed by Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, USAG-HI, is designed, in part, to reduce bothersome early-morning PT and cadence in installation neighborhoods.

The directive is clear, says the new garrison command sergeant major.

"(The memo says) stay in authorized routes," said Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Brunwald, senior enlisted leader, USAG-HI. "Be smart about what you are doing."

The new PT guidance is outlined in policy memorandum USAG-HI-1, posted on the garrison website.

When approved PT routes are ignored, not only are residential families awaken by the rhythmic cadence, but motorized and pedestrian traffic can be impeded -- or worse.

Oftentimes, according to Brunwald, unit leaders make impromptu PT course changes that are spontaneous, but those maneuvers can have unintended consequences that pose headaches to runners, residents and those attempting to navigate through the installation.

"When (Soldiers) don't use right routes, traffic backs up," said Chris Graves, deputy director, Directorate of Emergency Services, USAG-HI. "It's dangerous and hazardous to not only (Soldiers), but to traffic. It's an accident waiting to happen."

The challenge for everyone -- Soldiers, unit and garrison workers and residents -- has been, and will continue to be, the limited number of PT running areas available for units.

"We all know that these installations were never intended to house this many people, vehicle traffic and foot traffic," Graves said. "We are a small installation; we're not like Fort Bragg or Fort Bliss, where each has spacious half-mile queue space near installation entrance areas."

Soldiers running unauthorized PT routes have been a recurring problem in unauthorized USAG-HI residential areas for decades. Residential family members have voiced concern about the cyclical problem through various channels, including Ask the Commander email, the garrison Facebook site and the Interactive Customer Evaluation (or ICE) program.

There is awareness of the situation and the need to address the issue through command channels, as expressed by Brunwald.

"Be respectful of our local communities when congregating near family homes, on and off base, especially near any trail heads or residential areas for PRT," Brunwald said. "I appreciate your leaders doing good hard warrior-focused fitness training, but we also have to be disciplined and respectful at all times.

"Everybody's on it, the commanders and sergeants major," Brunwald said. "Now we have to ensure that the message gets down to the unit level."

Page last updated Fri August 24th, 2012 at 00:00