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Jenkins runs with ROTC cadets

Sarah Mervosh | Wednesday, October 1, 2008

About 200 cadets from the three branches of ROTC joined University President Fr. John Jenkins at 6:30 a.m Tuesday to participate in a 2.5-mile run Tri-Military Run across campus, senior Army cadet and public relations liaison, Mike Howard said.

“[The run] is just basically to foster good relations between the services and to work together,” he said. “And to have one event where the President of the University can come and address everybody.”

Senior Heather Jackson, the commanding cadet in the Army ROTC is the Army’s Tri-Mil representative and helped plan the run. She said Jenkins is asked to participate each year because the purpose of the run is not only to unify the branches of military, but also, to unify ROTC with the University.

“[Jenkins] always talks about how he always loves to come because he thinks the ROTC is a really great presence on the campus and he likes to support it,” said Jackson.

Jenkins said he has been participating in the run for three or four years and hopes to participate again next year when he addressed the cadets after the run.

“He said that he was really proud of the fact that the University had us there and that we, the men and women of the armed services, would become leaders in the United States military and are going to Notre Dame,” junior Army cadet Richard Blomstrom said.

Jenkins said that there is “a lot of spirit among these guys” and that it was “a pleasure to be out here.”

The run is also meant to create a “unified front” of the entire ROTC group, Jackson said.

“We ran in our respective units. Air force was at the front. Army was in the middle and Navy was at the end,” senior Army cadet Stephen Iacovo, but the groups had time to interact before, after the event, and while it was being planned.

“We definitely all talked. We introduced ourselves there and kind of chatted during our run,” Blomstrom said.

Iacovo said this year’s run was the more vigorous than any they have participated in.

“This year was actually better than the past years because the speed at which we ran was more upbeat so it seemed like people wanted to be out there,” Iacovo said.

But Iacovo added, “It was enjoyable as much as running can be enjoyable.”