FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 27, 2014) -- Fort Rucker leadership wants to highlight health and safety during the Fourth of July weekend and it's hosting a post run as a way to kick off the festivities.

The Fourth of July Post Run will begin at 6:30 a.m. at Howze Field July 3.

"We wanted to host this run to encourage physical fitness among the Soldiers and raise their esprit de corps for the holiday," said Sgt. Maj. Marvin Pinckney, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence G-3 sergeant major. "What better way to start off a four-day weekend than to get in some good physical fitness with your comrades?"

Brig. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, U.S. Army Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, will be leading the run.

"Post runs really build camaraderie between Soldiers and leadership, especially the command team," said Pinckney. "It shows everyone that Fort Rucker is a team of teams. It also helps Soldiers to push each other to continue through a tough situation."

Post runs are also an important time for senior leadership to address a large portion of the installation about being safe on a holiday weekend, added the sergeant major.

"The leadership cares about all of the Soldiers, and this is just one small way that everyone will be able to see that," he said.

Pinckney asks Solders to hydrate days before the run, because consuming a large amount of water hours or moments before a run is dangerous.

"Do not try to simply hydrate the morning of the run. This is Alabama, and even the early mornings are hot and humid. Take care of your body," he added.

Every organization on Fort Rucker will be represented during the run, which will go as far as Lundy wants to go, whether it be two or 10 miles.

Freedom Fest begins later that afternoon at 4 p.m. at the festival fields for Soldiers, Family members, civilians and everyone else to enjoy food, fireworks and other festivities.

Reveille will sound before the run, as well as Retreat at Freedom Fest, and Pinckney wants to make sure everyone knows what they are expected to do when they hear them.

"During Reveille or Retreat, Soldiers in uniform in their car must pull the vehicle over safely, exit the vehicle and present a salute to the flag or the sound of the music. A Soldier outside in uniform must do the same," he said. "If a Soldier is not in uniform and is in a car or outside, that individual must stand at the position of attention."

Civilians driving on the installation during Reveille or Retreat are asked to pull over their cars as a sign of respect and, if they wish, to place their hand over their heart.

"It's important that individuals pull over their cars and administer these respects, not only because they are showing respect to the flag and therefore the nation, but the bigger issue is safety," said Pinckney. "When you have the majority of people doing the right thing and pulling off the road and stepping out of their vehicles, (and others aren't), that is a big safety hazard.

"If you are in a hurry to get home or to work and are distracted, you might hit a person rendering respect," he continued. "It is not worth a ticket or possibly hitting a Soldier to not stop and show respect for something that lasts around two minutes."