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JCSE members run Gasparilla in formation

by Army Chief Warrant Officer 5, James Rathburn
JCSE, Communications support detachment commander /i>
photo by Nick Stubbs
Members from the Joint Communication Support Element Communication Support Detachment show off their medals after running Gasparilla Distance Classic Jan. 24.

For the fourth consecutive year, members of the Joint Communications Support Element's Communications Support Detachment, known as the Pirates-hit Bay Shore Drive, ran during the annual Gasparilla Distance Classic.

In spite of the high operational tempo of the unit, Senior Master Sgt. Jeff Booton, CSD first sergeant, encouraged maximum participation and dedicated time for training as an extension of the unit's normal daily physical training program. Some servicemen took this opportunity to train for other endeavors or to continue previously started running programs.

"I saw this run as an extension of my train-up for Special Forces Training," remarked Sgt. Toby Tabor. Staff Sgt. Brett Copple, sought a similar benefit in preparing for Airborne School. Tech. Sgt. Kriss Ochiltree wanted to continue building on the running regime he started in Iraq while training for an organized 10-miler. Though they all had different reasons to run, everyone agreed that the main benefit was the camaraderie and esprit-de-corps built throughout the training.

Community reaction to military formation running down Bayshore was extremely favorable.

"Running with the Pirates in a formation run and seeing how well received they are by the community is amazing," said JCSE Commander Army Col. James Lien.

Throughout the run, community runners joined in on the cadence or cheered words of encouragement.

Prior to participating in the 5K formation run, nine members of the detachment formed two teams and competed in the 15K military team competition, securing first and fourth place. Rum Runner Team included Senior Master Sgt. Booton (1:00:15); Master Sgt. Scott Gierke (1:16:15); Chief Warrant Officer 5 Rathburn (1:13:29); Tech. Sgt. John Schaefer, Jr. (1:07:48); Sgt. Tabor (1:10:15) Pirate Crew team included Staff Sgt. Jose Aguirre (1:18:54); Staff Sgt. Copple (1:16:16); Master Sgt. David Matos (1:19:04); and Tech. Sgt. Ochiltree (1:18:45).

Running has become contagious within the Communications Support Detachment; there is already talk about half and full marathon competitions with many CSD members sharing the sentiment of Tech. Sgt. John Schaeffer, "I regret not getting involved in organized competitive runs earlier."




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