By Brian LepleyOctober 17, 2014
ARLINGTON, VA -- When 6,077 extremely fit Army officer and enlisted personnel visit a three-day event, that event becomes a market for the Army's Special Operations and Medical recruiters.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Special Operations Recruiting Battalion and Medical Recruiting Brigade celebrated the 30th annual Army Ten Miler with dozens of runners and an awareness campaign for its active-duty missions. The Oct. 12 race and Oct. 10-11 registration expo featured two interactive displays (the Aviation Adventure and the Special Operations vans) and booth space with recruiters from both units.
At Ten Milers before 2013, the SORB and MRB had booth space at the runner's registration area. Last year, the sequester budget cuts halted those outreach efforts. After the 2013 race, New York City Recruiting Battalion commander Lt. Col. Michael Stinnett had a conversation with Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, who had just run his first Army Ten Miler as the USAREC commanding general.
"After last year's run the CG and I were talking about our times," he said. "The CG asked me, 'Hey Mike what can we do to make this run better for USAREC?' So I put some ideas together. I said let's get some national assets out here, let's maximize USAREC, put together brigade teams."
As these situations go in the Army, Stinnett could predict what was coming next.
"The CG liked the ideas and he said, 'Okay, you're in charge, you got it,'" Stinnett said. He became the task force leader, managing a group of recruiters from each brigade to set up the assets and interact with the 35,000 race participants.
"We needed a bigger presence here," he said. "Let's get the assets lined up and showcase the Army."
Like any other USAREC outreach event of this size, the intent was awareness of the SORB's and MRB's missions. Business cards and giveaway items flew off the tables at the runner's expo and the Army Ten Miler Hooah Zone after the race.
"We're glad for the emphasis on promoting our mission here. I'd like to get a better display for the booth at the expo," said Command Sgt. Maj. Rene Hutchins of 1st Medical Recruiting Battalion. "We're debuting the new medical marketing semi truck at Virginia Tech later this month. That would be a good item for the race next year."
Part of Batschelet's intent was to have brigade teams in the race to build esprit de corps and combat an Army stereotype that USAREC duty doesn't include time for PT.
Capt. Abigail Tassa, Bronx Company commander in New York City Battalion, was the fastest USAREC female runner at 1:18:47. The top men's runner for the command was Staff Sgt. Daniel Kear of Kansas City Battalion, in at 57:00.
The registered USAREC teams from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Recruiting Brigades did well in context of the competition. The vast majority of teams, whether mixed or mens, are composed of an installation's or division's best runners, drawing from a vast pool of up to tens of thousands of Soldiers.
The 1st and 3rd Brigade teams competed in the active-duty mixed category. Their respective times of 5:02:36 and 5:43:31 placed 29th and 37th out of 52 teams. The 2nd Brigade team (4:54:37) was 23rd of 39 teams in the active-duty men's group.