Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from Fort Meade came together Friday for a two-mile run in recognition of the Year of the Noncommissioned Officer. More than 1,500 service members gathered in the dark before Reveille on Mullins Field near the Gaffney Fitness Center in preparation for Fort Meade's Year of the NCO Run. They included members of First Army Division East; Headquarters Command Battalion; 1st Recruiting Brigade; Company B, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion; 902nd Military Intelligence Group; Navy Information Operations Command Maryland; Asymmetric Warfare Group; 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing; 704th Military Intelligence Brigade; Defense Information School; Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center and Dental Activity. "The Year of the NCO is an Army thing, but it is absolutely applicable to every service out there," said Maj. Gen. Mick Bednarek, commander of First Army. "You ought to be proud of what you have been doing." Billed as an esprit de corps run, the event was designed to promote physical fitness and commemorate the Army's "Year of the NCO" effort. Participating units assembled in formation on Mullins Field. Following Reveille and remarks by First Army Command Sgt. Major Marvell Dean, participants ran -while keeping cadence - along Broadfoot, Leonard Wood and Rock Avenues over to Simonds Street and back to Mullins Field. Reassembled in formation, the troops heard remarks from Bednarek along with Military District of Washington Command Sgt. Major Raymond Houston and Brig. Gen. Dennis Rogers, director of the National Capital Region District and Installation Management Command's Operations, Facilities and Emergency Services. "Since 1775, we have set apart our NCOs over other Soldiers by distinction of grade," Bednarek said. "We have endured. We have focused. We have trained and kept ourselves ready. And that is on the backs of the NCOs." For more information about the Army's Year of the NCO, visit