ROTC Army Ten-Miler 3rd Place Win

Dec 22, 2017

by Communications Staff

It’s been a great year for the cadets from Florida Southern College Army ROTC. Earlier this semester, the “Moccasin Battalion” Ten-Miler team finished third at the 33rd annual Army Ten Miler (ATM) road race on the streets of Arlington, VA and our nation’s capital.

The ATM is the second largest ten-mile race in the United States with over 35,000 runners. FSC’s team finished behind two strong West Point marathon teams and first in front of over 100 ROTC programs from across the nation on “Washington’s sultriest October day ever recorded”, according to the Washington Post.

“I am extremely proud of the entire team,” said Lieutenant Colonel Rocky Vaira, Active Duty Army Officer and FSC Professor of Military Science. “They showed remarkable discipline and resolve in preparing for this year’s race- even with several training set-backs from Irma.”

The Moccasin Battalion team remains the top ROTC Ten-Miler team in the nation for a third year in a row.

The cadets pose for a picture after a wonderful win.

“Being the top ROTC team in the nation for three consecutive years says a lot about our Cadets,” said Vaira. “It was a tough race and they were competing against large D1 Schools with some ROTC programs having upwards of two thousand cadets.”

Florida Southern first-year Brian Martin from Rochester, NY looks back with pride. “Being able to go and race in our nation’s capital was an amazing experience.”

Not only was it the first time to our nation’s capital for several Cadets, but it was also a small reunion with FSC Alum and past ATM teammates. Including 1st Lieutenant Kyle Butler ’15 a platoon leader stationed at Fort Campbell, KY and 1st Lieutenant Gil Vazquez ’15, an Engineer platoon leader stationed in Germany running with Team US Army Europe.

Trae Miller, team captain and senior at Southeastern University (ROTC affiliate program), finished at 58:52 with average pace of 5:54 per mile. “It was truly a team effort and so glad to be part of this team the past 3 years,” he said.

Biology major and first-year Mackenzie Wills from Melbourne, FL is proud of the win. “Running alongside thirty five thousand runners was a little nerve racking but exciting at the same time.”

“I am immensely proud of the team and for that matter all Cadets in the program — they are the less than one percent who signed on to serve. I requested an ROTC assignment because I wanted to help shape the next generation of officers worthy of leading America’s sons and daughters in support of our nation. They inspire me each day with their positive attitudes, can-do spirit, sense of team work and wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves — The U.S. Army Team."

Vaira adds that they could not do it without the tremendous support they receive from Florida Southern College, ROTC Civilian Staff, Cadet Command, and the Lakeland Community.

Go Mocs! Army Strong! We’re ready for the holidays!