Our latest blog entry comes courtesy of Mike Cannon, public relations maven, running enthusiast, and United States Air Force colonel.
Here’s a trivia question for you: How many uniformed services are there in the United States?
I bet most of you answered either four or five, but there are actually seven. Pretty much everybody knows the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force from the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard from the Department of Homeland Security. But most people are unaware of the other two Sea Services, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Public Health Service Commissioned Corps led by the US Surgeon General (who, interestingly enough, is an Admiral) and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As sea services, they wear uniforms/ranks similar to those of the Navy and Coast Guard.
You may be asking, “So what does this have to do with running?” Well, I’m glad you asked. The answer is, nothing and everything, at least for me. I think Major John MacGillis (Gerald McRainey’s character in the old TV show Major Dad) summed it up when asked why he ran. He answered, “I’m a Marine and Marines run.” This holds true for all of the uniformed services, which, in addition to rigorous educational, professional, and ethical standards, have pretty stringent physical requirements as well. I’m an Airman and Airmen run.
So in recognition of the running done across the uniformed services and to honor those who serve, I am planning to run a race sponsored by each of the services in 2012. It was pretty easy finding races sponsored by the larger DoD services, but the others required some significant research. Fortunately, being in the DC area makes this endeavor a bit less daunting as many of the races are close at hand. With a little luck, I might just be able to pull this off even though it seems that to NOAA “RACE” means Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering and a “run” is something salmons do in the spring.
Here’s my tentative schedule in case you want to join me for any (or all) of the races:
1 Apr – NOAA Fitness Center April Fool’s Day 5K (Silver Spring, MD) – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
20 Jun – Surgeon General’s 5K (Washington DC) – Public Health Service [if held in 2012]
4 Aug – TCYorktown CG Day 5k (Yorktown/Newport News, VA) – Coast Guard
15 Sep – USAF Half-Marathon (Dayton, OH) – Air Force
21 Sep – Navy 5 Miler (Washington DC) – Navy [unless they move it to 15 Sep, then I’ll have to find another Navy race]
21 Oct – Army Ten-Miler (Washington DC) – Army
28 Oct – Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC) – Marine Corps