By Pfc. Jamal WalkerMarch 25, 2009
RED CLOUD GARRISON, Korea - Noncommissioned officers gathered to greet the day March 20 with a different variation of the standard physical training schedule by celebrating the "Year of the NCO" with an all NCO 5K run for Warrior Country at USAG-RC. The run featured a "best cadence calling" contest which selected, at the end of the event, a unit as having the best NCO in Warrior Country calling cadence.
"This run is about NCO's," said Command Sgt. Maj. Peter Burrowes, 2nd Infantry Division Command Sgt. Maj. "Soldier's pride, tradition, and commitment; you name it, that is what it is about."
The event started in front of the USAG-RC Fitness Center where Soldiers announced their arrivals in mass formations calling cadence, which echoed throughout the garrison.
After stretching out and all preparations were made, Burrowes briefed the Soldiers explaining how everyone will start and everyone will finish, before he started the run.
The mass formation, led by a Military Police vehicle off post and around the Uijeongbu Stadium, of more than 100 Soldiers filled the air with sounds of different cadences as each NCO called to their unit while Burrowes listened, and participated as well, judging who called the best cadence.
After running around Uijeongbu Stadium, the formation was guided back on post and the Soldiers continued running around the perimeter of USAG-RC twice before the formation was called to quick time march and halt, signaling the end of the run.
"A run is the most expedient way to challenge yourself," Burrowes said "When you start on a run, during the middle, the beginning or the end you are going to find there are times when you will say, 'Can I make it' Can I complete this' Do I have the fortitude to finish'' A run actually tests us physically and mentally so when we get back we can say 'I have been tested and I made it.'"
Burrowes congratulated the Soldiers on their performance during the run but was at a loss for words in determining the winner of the best cadence calling contest. Because he was impressed with every unit and their cadences, Burrowes told the first sergeants of each unit to bring their best cadence caller to the front and gave them two coins and an NCO 5K T-shirt.
The selected NCOs were given 30 seconds to call their best cadence. After hearing all cadences, Burrows awarded A Company DSTB for calling the best cadence during the run.
"Hold on to your hat because this year will be a dynamic year for the noncommissioned officers," Burrowes said. "We (the 2nd ID) are going to develop the NCOs and demonstrate throughout the year's events what the NCO's do and continue to do; it is going to be an exciting year, and it has just begun."