Teams of Appalachian ROTC Cadets participated in the 11th annual Mountain Man Memorial March (MMMM) to honor the Nation's fallen service members and their Gold Star families. It was originally organized as a way to honor 1LT Frank B. Walkup IV, a 2005 University of Tennessee graduate and ROTC alumnus, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. University of Tennessee ROTC hosts the event in Gatlinburg Tennessee where 1LT Walkup was from.
This marked the sixth year in which Appstate ROTC has competed. Appalachian State University ROTC had two full marathon with rucksuck teams (Male team: Jack Simpson, Jacob Best, Jeremy Tuggle, Ryan Malmgren Edgar Dominguez; Female Team: Heidi Robinson, Taylor Guiles, Lynne Cox, Patricia Parks and Lydia Pearson), one half-marathon with rucksuck team (Sam Boyles, Garrett Sandy, Matt Hodges, Ben Pritchett and Jesse Durham), five half-marathon with rucksack individuals (LTC Chris Kleman, Chris Ruch, Troy Jones, Chandler Case and Gus Coffey) and two full marathon with ruck individuals (James Gehret and Connor Dickey). Several App ROTC alumni participated in the event as well, among those were CPT Callahan, LT Bienhoff and LT Shelton.
App ROTC often fares well in this “competition for a cause” and this year was no different. The Male Full Team finished in First Place (fifth year consecutively) for the Full Marathon and set a new course record; The Half-Marathon Team finished in Second Place; LTC Kleman finished second in the Military Individual Half Marathon and was followed by Cadets Jones, Ruch and Case in 5th,6th and 7th; Cadets Gehret and Dickey finished 4th and 6th in the Military Individual Full Marathon; Gus Coffey, competing in the Civilian Individual Half Marathon, finished 3rd. For the second year in a row, App State ROTC was the only program to field an all-female full marathon with rucksuck team. The team had a strong showing and finished in the upper third of teams.
Female team finishing strong!
Individual Half Marathon warriors resting their feet after the march
The Mountain Man Memorial March is a spirited competition but participants are brought together to honor the Fallen and the App ROTC teams and individuals had the privilege to march for some. App Cadets carried some placards for App Alumni or family of Alums.
Half marathon team with Gold Star Family they supported
Cadet Simpson and Captain Callahan (Class of 12) passing the placard in honor of his brother
The march took on a special meaning for the Mountaineer Battalion in 2012 when Cadet Christopher Hasbrouck, an Appalachian State Junior, collapsed while participating in the 5th Annual March on 21 April 2012. Cadet Hasbrouck never recovered and later passed away on 2 May 2012. That year, Cadet Hasbrouck and his fellow Cadets were marching in honor of SGT Rhys Klasno. As a result, SGT Klasno's father along with the Gold Star Dads of America renamed their award, the Espirit De Corps award, to the Christopher Hasbrouck Espirit De Corp Award. It has been awarded to a deserving ASU Cadet every semester since its inception.
Cadet Coffey carried the placard honoring Cadet Hasbrouck
Honor and Remember