KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz community members will lace up their running shoes to celebrate 243 years of Army history with a five-kilometer Army Birthday Run at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, June 14.

"The U.S. Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of America," said Tom Dennis, USAG RP chief of sports and fitness. "To celebrate, we hold this annual event to improve unit teamwork, esprit de corps, offer recreational activity and enhance resiliency within our entire military community."

The event is free and open to all active-duty military members, retirees, Department of Defense civilian employees and family members -- but please leave your four-legged family members at home. There is also a one-mile walking route for military members with medical profiles or anyone who would enjoy walking instead of running, said Dennis, who runs 10 miles a week for fitness and stress relief.

All participants will form up and warm up at 6:30 a.m. (6 a.m. for units) at the start/finish line in front of the ROB Special Events Center, Bldg. 237. Water stations will also be offered along the route as well as fruit and water at the finish line. A Directorate of Emergency Services fire truck will be stationed near the finish line to cool participants with an invigorating spray of water after completing the run.

"Come out to celebrate our Army heritage at the birthday run," Dennis said. "It's a fun way to enjoy fitness and friendship with our garrison community."