Eisenhower challenge combines physical, mental fitness

By Laura LeveringSeptember 15, 2023

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GORDON, Ga. – Members of the Fort Gordon community and beyond are being encouraged to come together to learn about the installation’s future namesake in a way that is fun and engaging.

The U.S. Army Signal School is hosting a challenge leading up to Fort Gordon’s redesignation to Fort Eisenhower, and all – both military and the general public – are welcome to participate.

The Road to Eisenhower Walk/Run Challenge will begin on Sept. 27, and end on Oct. 27. Individuals must register online no later than Sept. 25.

The main intent of the challenge is to promote knowledge of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fitness, and unity, in preparation for the installation redesignation ceremony on Oct. 27.

On Sept. 27, at 9 a.m., each registered person will receive their first trivia question related to Eisenhower. Once answered correctly, the individual will be given a number of miles that they must travel before receiving the next question.

Mileage will vary between approximately 25 to 50 miles per question, and participants may complete them at their own pace. before moving on to the next question. Each time the individual reaches the number of miles required, they must send a screenshot of their fitness app showing their progress to Road2Eisenhower@army.mil, and in turn will receive the next trivia question. The challenge is finished once the participant completes all miles and arrives at Fort Eisenhower.

De Neiya Goodly, Information Signal and Technology Branch chief, said the challenge is “less about competition and more about unity,” although she does expect to see some friendly competition involved.

“As a military, we are around the world, and we live in various communities,” Goodly said. “Due to limited access to the installation, the ‘community’ rarely gets to participate in our activities. This is an opportunity for the public to join us.”

The challenge is open to everyone, and there is no cost to participate.

And although it will end on the morning of the redesignation ceremony, screenshots will be accepted through Oct. 28 at noon, as long as they indicate a completion date of Oct. 27.

Participants who finish the challenge before Oct. 27 will have the option to assist another participant by completing additional miles and “donating” those miles. All who participate are asked to post photos of themselves on social media using the hashtag #Road2Eisenhower. Recognition will be given to the first 10 to reach Fort Eisenhower, the top 25 who complete the race with the most miles, and the top 15 who donate the most miles.

Individuals can register at: https://forms.office.com/r/uuMRk27XUS.

Questions about the challenge should be sent to: Road2Eisenhower@army.mil.

Behind the name

An eight-member renaming commission was directed to determine new identities for nine U.S. Army installations; Fort Gordon being one of them. In its final report to Congress in August 2022, the commission recommended that “Fort Gordon be changed to Fort Eisenhower in commemoration of General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower.” The basis for their recommendation was that Eisenhower symbolized “the professionalism, excellence, and joint nature of the base’s mission,” and because he spent much of his time “preparing for the next war.”

Signal Corps Historian Steven Rauch said it’s important to keep in mind the reasoning for choice of commemoration, noting that Eisenhower was one of the “giants of the profession.”

“His ability to lead a diverse coalition of nationalities, ethnicities, and ideological beliefs marked his true success as a leader who picked the best from all and blended it together to achieve a combination that decisively defeated our enemies at the time.”