Hundreds of Local Military Personnel Run in Formation
October 23, 2014
"We brought basically the entire the military community from the Charlottesville area, about 400 people from a number of different agencies and it was designed to bring everybody together," said Brigadier General Stuart Risch of The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.
The JAG School, National Ground Intelligence Center, and several local ROTC units went for a three-mile morning run around Panorama Farms in formation.
Lieutenant Colonel John Cherry was at the head of the pack and had one very important job.
"I have to lead the formation and keep the speed at an appropriate pace," he said.
"Everyone runs at different paces. Some people are fast some people aren't as fast so we keep it at a nice honest pace so everyone has a good time out here and it doesn't turn into an uncomfortable run."
Also, a track coach at Charlottesville High School, he understands the importance of bringing a team together.
"The main idea here isn't so much to get physical fitness, it's more to teach them how to bring their unit together for camaraderie, team building and to have fun as a unit," said Cherry.'
Cherry works alongside Major Laura O'Donnell at the high school.
She assists with the cross country team and uses her experience in the army to motivate her students.
"Those kids get out there and spend two hours after school running endless miles sometimes just in circles, but if you can do that and put your mind to it and push yourself in that way you can push yourself in anything. That's what we all know. On a daily basis we're given difficult tasks sometimes and we just know to push ourselves and persevere through," she said.
"When you get through something difficult like a run like this it builds not only camaraderie but it builds a tight team," said Risch.
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