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    U.S. Navy Sailor Wins the Army’s BOSS Endurance Run Challenge

    U.S. Navy Sailor Wins the Army’s BOSS Endurance Run Challenge

    Photo By Julius Evans | Cmdr. Melissa Harnly, Officer in Charge, NMLC Detachment Pirmasens, HMC Armando...... read more read more



    Story by Julius Evans 

    Naval Medical Logistics Command

    In keeping with the age-old adage “Go Navy, Beat Army,” a United States Navy Sailor won the U.S. Army’s Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers (BOSS) virtual 100-mile endurance run challenge that was held from 21 April through 24 May 2020.

    Chances are you may never have heard of the Army’s BOSS virtual 100-mile endurance run challenge. The BOSS program represents the voice of the single service-member of all ranks. BOSS members advocate for quality of life issues on installations and in the barracks, to senior leaders on post and throughout the Army and its partner Services.

    Organized by the Garrison BOSS Garrison Commander at U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, the Senior Enlisted Advisor, the Morale Welfare and Recreation Advisor and the BOSS President, 654 runners were registered from the single Soldier community – active duty, the National Guard and Reservist units - and single parents, geographical bachelors, and other branches of service and Foreign Service Members.

    The Navy has programs similarly focused on quality of life issues for single Sailors. Much like the Navy’s programs, BOSS has three basic pillars; quality of life, community service and recreation and leisure.

    For Sailors who are forward deployed, a program like this takes on special meaning, especially in today’s COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic environment. Touted as a way to ensure military members had an opportunity to remain active while gym facilities were closed, the event attracted runners from all skill levels, both male and female.

    Chief Hospital Corpsman Armando Montoya, assigned to the Naval Medical Logistics Command (NMLC) Detachment Pirmasens, Germany, United States Army Medical Materiel Command Europe (USAMMCE), won this year’s race. That he beat out more than 600 other runners, was a pleasant surprise to him, but he was well prepared.

    “I try to sign up for at least one marathon every year, and to keep myself in shape. I have completed the Chicago, Seattle and Tokyo Marathons, before 2016,” said the Chicago, IL, native.

    “After transferring to Germany two years ago, I started long distance endurance training, with the intention to put a few check marks on a goal list; and while in Europe, those marks included completing the [Zurich] Sevilla and Lisbon [Portugal] Marathons, and also a few trail runs in the Italian, Swiss and French Alps, which will be some of the best memories from living in Europe.”

    He also said his first race in 2020 was on New Year’s Eve in Zurich, which was a half-marathon that started at midnight and went into the New Year. In fact, his entire unit is dedicated to personal physical readiness. Detachment Officer in Charge, Cmdr. Melissa Harnly, completed the Athens, Greece full marathon in November 2019. Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 2nd Class Joyce Sang completed her first marathon in September 2019 on the outskirts of Paris, France.

    “Unfortunately, this year the Barcelona, Paris and Edinburg marathons were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Edinburg marathon was supposed to take place May 24, 2020, the last day of the BOSS challenge,” Montoya explained.

    In Europe, USAMMCE serves as the premier Theater Lead Agent for Medical Materiel in the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Medical Logistics Center of Excellence for the United States European Command (EUCOM), the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), and the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

    The NMLC Customer Support Detachment is the lynchpin between the DoD’s largest sustainment unit and 997 Navy, Army and Air Force commands, their healthcare installation, operations, contingencies and continuing conflicts, located in the 5th/6th/7th Fleets’ AoRs.

    One of the detachment’s core responsibilities is developing efficient and competent supply representatives in every unit, sustaining a viable supply chain between the United States Army Command and their location whether ashore or afloat, during peace time or conflict, and during time of world-wide epidemics; it serves as the sole supplier and distributor for pandemic medical supplies.

    The team scheduled flights, enabling and accelerating testing events for the active duty and dependent population stationed overseas. Every movement of COVID-19 testing materiel delivered to EUCOM/AFRICOM/CENTCOM, was coordinated and distributed at USAMMCE.

    The BOSS event spanned multiple Combatant Command AoRs considering the location of the participants and the number of people who enrolled.

    While this event was originally organized for participants at U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, according to the event’s organizer and president, BOSS garnered participation from more than 600 runners from around the world. “I didn’t plan for it to be that big – I honestly thought it’d be 10 to 20 Soldiers, but it just kept going and going,” Army Spc. Ethan Locklear said in a press release about the event. “We had people everywhere – people in Poland, Alaska and Missouri.”

    The goal of the challenge was to run at least 100 miles and track the progress by sharing the results publicly. Montoya said it took him six day to complete his first 100 miles. When it was all said and done, he had completed 391.2 miles throughout the 24-day period.

    “Several runners added each other on the Nike App. During the middle and last days of the challenge, I noticed that if I ran a few miles in the afternoon, the other runners would run about the same distance. I did my best to keep up,” Montoya said. “My longest distance was during the last day of the challenge, with 17 miles in the early morning, and 20 in late afternoon to evening.”

    Throughout the year, the BOSS organization schedules challenge endurance runs and other physical endurance activities, where Service-members can compete and become ambassadors for the military community. The BOSS challenge was the biggest endurance event of the year and it was very fitting that the Navy would score this colossal victory in a time when sporting events participation, both from fans and athletes, for the 2020 year is questionable, considering today’s COVID-19 pandemic environment.

    Montoya couldn’t agree more and shared his thoughts for those who might consider participating in a potential upcoming event.

    “To anyone interested in running or perhaps training for their first marathon, remember to enjoy every stride, and most importantly, have fun,” Montoya said. “If you are stationed in Europe, make it a goal to run a big race. You will not only be part of a great charitable event, you will also create great memories and have incredible stories to tell in the future.”



    Date Taken: 07.14.2020
    Date Posted: 07.14.2020 12:20
    Story ID: 373876
    Location: PIRMASENS, DE 
    Hometown: CHICAGO, IL, US

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