Local

March 7, 2014

Ruck March held to honor fallen Defenders

Tech. Sgt. Terrence Flowers, 412th Maintenance Group maintenance instructor, lugs 44-pounds worth of gear in his ruck sack during the march to honor fallen Defenders of U.S. Air Force Security Forces and law enforcement March 4. The ruck march was 11.5 miles and began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building by Camp Corum and ended at the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., and perpendicular to the Edwards AFB sign on the west side of base.

It’s commonly said that the most valuable gift we can give to another is our time, especially when it’s spent marching through 11.5 miles of steep and rocky, desert terrain in remembrance of those who have served.

For more than 30 participants, that opportunity arose during a 412th Security Forces Squadron Ruck March held March 4 to honor all fallen Defenders.

“Our job is inherently dangerous so taking the time to come out here to remember those who have fallen not only in combat- or duty-related incidents, but also in some form of tragedy, is only fitting. We are usually one of the largest squadrons on any given base which increases the likelihood of us having some type of tragedy occur in our squadron,” said Capt. Jose Garcia, 412th SFS acting commander. “At some point, it’s only appropriate for us to take the time to recognize those folks that may not often be recognized in public. I really appreciated everyone who showed up and participated in today’s event.”

For one of the ruck march organizers, the event held a greater significance since it was a way to initiate something for all and carry on the legacy of a fellow, fallen wingman.

Staff Sgt. Manuel Rodriguez, 412th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Schmykel, 412th SFS military working dog, were one of many 412th SFS members who took part in their squadron’s Ruck March to honor all fallen Defenders who have served on Mar. 4. The ruck march took participants through 11.5 miles of steep and rocky, desert terrain that began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building and ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif. and perpendicular to the west Edwards AFB sign.

“This event was very personal to me. Last year, a senior airman who I worked with at Malmstrom Air Force Base, [Mont.,] passed away due to very sudden circumstances. I thought he deserved more recognition for his service, so I decided to create a ruck march in his honor,” said 1st Lt. Don Kempf, 412th SFS operations officer. “The ruck expanded from there, and it became an opportunity for anyone to honor somebody who has served and passed away, regardless of the circumstances of their deaths.”

For other marchers, the event was also used as an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to their fellow wingmen as well.

“A friend of mine was killed in the line of duty and I came here to march in honor of him today,” said James Bigger, 412th Communications Squadron Quality Control Section. “We should always take the time to remember those who’ve passed in the line of duty or off duty no matter what line of work you’re in”

Participants of the ruck march included people from the Personnel Section, the 412th Maintenance Group, the 412th Communications Squadron, the U.S. Marshals Service, to include two retired Defenders and Defenders from the 412th SFS.

The 11.5-mile ruck march began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building and ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., perpendicular to the west Edwards AFB sign.

“There were no requirements to participate; the event was open to anyone who wanted show support,” said Tech. Sgt. Jaqualene Taylor, 412th SFS unit deployment manager said. “I would definitely recommend this event to the base community, because it is a great opportunity to come together to tell a small part of the security forces story and the people behind it. This event builds moral and shows the base that we support each other 24/7.”

“Well, since I’m a Reservist for the 412th SFS, I found out about the event and I wanted to come out here and support it as fellow law enforcement,” added Deputy Zach Tyler, U.S. Marshals Service.

Of the more than 30 personnel that took part in the ruck march, Kempf noted that all were given a black ribbon to don during the 11.5-mile march that began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building, ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., and perpendicular to the Edwards AFB sign.

“After researching how many people have passed from under these circumstances, the numbers were astounding. In most cases, these fellow defenders didn’t receive a plaque on a wall,” said Kempf. “Everyone usually knows someone that has been affected by a fellow coworker who has passed, that’s why we gave out the black ribbons today … to keep someone in mind.”
 

All the more than 30 personnel that took part in the ruck march were given a black ribbon to don during the 11.5-mile march to honor fallen security force members.

 

A couple deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service also participated in the ruck march.

 

The ruck march participants pose for a group photo at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building where the march began March 4.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Holiday Hours

Special holiday hours will be in force for 412th Force Support Squadron facilities. The hours are: Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 27 All 412th FSS facilities will be CLOSED except the following: * Aero Club: Flying sunrise to sunset, office closed * Joshua Tree Dining Facility: Brunch 6 a.m.-1 p.m., Dinner 4:30-7 p.m., and Midnight Meal...
 
 

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service members from allotting...
 
 

Exchange gift cards personalize holiday care packages

According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, gift cards will be the most requested gift this year with 62 percent preferring a gift card over any other item. For Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, their gift card of choice is the one that can be redeemed at military exchanges from Okinawa to Oklahoma. The...
 

 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line of...
 
 

Protecting your identity online

With the internet ever evolving, it has become a great source of communication and a convenient tool. While there are many advantages in using the internet, like online shopping or making charitable donations, there are also countless numbers of unknown, lurking threats. One of luxuries of the internet, and a great service for busy parents,...
 
 

Eagle Eyes promotes community’s involvement in security

Security forces defend the base, but everyone can help ensure Edwards Air Force Base is safe and sound through the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Eagle Eyes program. Law enforcement officers rely on the eyes and ears of the entire community. If Airmen or citizens notice anything out of the norm or suspicious, either...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>