By Sgt. Alun Thomas, 1st ACB PAO, 1st Cav. Div.January 5, 2010
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - For the most senior noncommissioned officers of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, the New Year was brought in with a sweat as they participated in a fun run, here, Dec. 31.
The run saw all 1st ACB first sergeants and sergeants major join together in a motivational run organized by Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, from Dallas, the brigade's command sergeant major, who said there were several factors for having the run.
One was having the "Diamond Club," the brigade first sergeants, bringing a potential first sergeant to accompany them on the run - ushering in new leadership with the New Year, Vela said.
Vela said the potential first sergeants were identified as superior NCO's by their leaders and added they would one day be replacing the current leadership, which includes him also.
The run also symbolized the tone and pace with which the 1st ACB have to finish the deployment, Vela said, which means running to the finish line, not walking.
Finishing the deployment strongly also means increasing physical fitness, which Vela said was another aspect of the run he was trying to emphasize.
The run started at brigade headquarters and made its way through the headquarters of each battalion to ring in the New Year, he added.
"The Soldiers were motivated - it was a great feeling," Vela said. "The finish line was the new year."
Vela explained that whereas 2009 was the year of the NCO, 2010 would be the year of the Air Cav. - the year the brigade returns home.
"We weren't there when our kids started the school year, but we'll be there when they get out," Vela said. "For young Soldiers that is a big deal."
"We're going to have a good summer," he said. "2010 is our year."