1BCT Runs Army Ten-Miler

1st Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division (LI)
Story by Capt. Ed Robles

Date: 10.08.2018
Posted: 10.08.2018 12:25
News ID: 295698
1BCT Runs Army Ten-Miler

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Oct 8, 2018) -- Four 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Soldiers represented the “Mountain Warriors” in the Army Ten-Miler with their Fort Drum teammates in the Washington, D.C. classic, Sunday. The humid day fueled competitive grit in these infantry brigade Soldiers who are known for their “Find a Way or Make One” motto and “Ready Now” spirit. After the run, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, who is a former 10th MTN DIV and Fort Drum Commanding General, invited the Fort Drum team to his home and celebrated the occasion.

“I had a great time and I’m very happy I had the opportunity to run in Washington, D.C.,” said Capt. Le Mar Baliwag, Support Operations Officer, 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1BCT. “General Milley gave us a grand tour and that was really awesome.”

Each of the runners drew their inspiration, motivation and drive from a different source.

“At 1st Brigade we are intensely busy,” said 1st Lt. John Brewer, Platoon Leader, 7th Engineer Battalion. We don’t just get it right the first time, we have to get it right every time. I equate it to long distance running. You have to have endurance.”

“I just love to compete,” said Baliwag. “Running with the team allows me to do that and better myself.”

Fort Drum provided solid proving grounds for 10th Mountain Division newcomers leading up to the Ten-Miler main event.

“I was surprised at the level of competition at Fort Drum,” said 1st Lt. Andrew Giller, Battery Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment. “I considered myself a fast runner and I barely made the team this year. The time trials proved to have a lot of tough competition and I found myself trying to chase people down one by one.”

“The Fort Drum competition was stiff,” echoed Baliwag. “There are several ex-collegiate athletes on the team and a lot of gifted runners. I like being surrounded by these guys because it helps me push harder.”

The Soldiers noted that Fort Drum’s long, brutal “North Country” winters present additional challenges for competitive athletes.

“During the winters, the treadmill or the cold need to become your best friends,” said Giller.

“This will be my first Fort Drum winter,” said Baliwag, who formerly ran for the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. “I heard cross country skiing and snow shoeing is a good workout. I plan on getting a trainer to help increase my cardio when it gets too frigid.”

Brewer expressed that his desire to run was rooted in something stronger than the challenges of extreme weather.

“I feel it’s primal,” said Brewer. “We are hunters and we are meant to run. It’s what I was meant to do. If you have your cardio right you can’t go wrong.”

As light infantrymen, 1BCT Soldiers fight on their feet when defeating foes on the battle field in any environment on the planet, and that elite level performance helps to consistently produce some of the best competitors in the Army Ten-Miler.

The biggest impression made on the runners was their new-found camaraderie hundreds of miles away from their upstate New York community, and the strong support from thousands of spectators at the nation’s capital.

“It is incredible to see so many people from across the Army and nation come together to race or to cheer on racers,” said Giller. “The energy during the race was awesome and there was always someone out there motivating you to keep going.”
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division trains to conduct Full Spectrum Operations anywhere in the world with focus on developing leaders and units that can effectively execute decentralized operations. On order 1 BCT disrupts or destroys enemy military forces and controls land areas, including populations and resources, in support of U.S. national interests. For more information visit us on Facebook: @1BCT10MTN