“Up in the morning ’fore the rising sun, the ‘Spartans’ of Forth Worth gonna take a lil’ run!”
That was one of the chants that echoed through the streets when about 90 Marines assigned to Recruiting Station Fort Worth, also known as the ‘Spartans,’ partook in a unit run here.
“This is the first time we did it at the RS,” said Sgt. Maj. JB Edwards, sergeant major of RS Fort Worth. “I think it was motivating to see the Marines running … together as a unit. It was good to see Marines out there singing Marine Corps chants.”
The ‘Spartans’ woke up before the sun to run about five miles through streets, trails and alongside the lake. The purpose of the run was to build unit cohesion, camaraderie and to see their fellow comrades whom some seldom see.
“You don’t get to see the Marines every day being on recruiting,” Edwards said. “Everybody is spread out.”
RS Fort Worth’s furthest station is in San Angelo, Texas which is about five and a half hours away from the recruiting station. Other stations, like Cleburne are hours from RS Fort Worth in the opposite direction.
“Out here on recruiting duty, it’s easy to think that you’re all alone, but when you do a run, you see that you’re part of a bigger team,” said Sgt. Jonathan K. Batzlaff, a recruiter assigned to Permanent Contracting Station Cleburne, Recruiting Substation Mansfield. “The run was just like recruiting. There’s people around you to help you and just like the fleet, because we are part of a team, [with the] common goal [of] finishing and finding qualified men and women to join the Marine Corps.”
Batzlaff ran with the guidon, or flag that is usually carried by a military unit, for the duration of the physical training session. He said he thought it was quite an experience running alongside the commanding officer, Maj. Patrick R. Crawford.
“It was pretty motivating running next to the CO and having people come up and grab the guidon and run around,” Batzlaff said. “It shows a lot of motivation on the RS’s part.”
The ‘Spartans’ finished the PT session with some cool down exercises and stretches. Staff noncommissioned officers like Gunnery Sgt. Billy D. Randall, took turns leading their Marines in pushups, cherry pickers and side-straddle hops.
“I get motivated from their motivation,” said Randall, the SNCOIC for RSS Fort Worth. “It felt good to be around my Marines and peers. It could’ve lasted 10 minutes and it wouldn’t have mattered as long as I get to be around my Marines.”
All in all, the ‘Spartans’ thought their time was well spent with the ones who they know they can count on the most—their fellow Marines.
“I think it went well,” Edwards said. “Recruiting is a busy atmosphere and the environment on recruiting keeps you busy. Just to get everybody together for some PT is a good day.”