More than 80 runners from Penn and from Drexel and Temple universities who are currently serving as officer candidates in the NROTC battalion marked the occasion with a journey that started and finished at Franklin Field, long before most civilians even heard their alarm clocks.
They stopped at three historic sites of naval importance to lay a wreath and say a few words.
“The NROTC’s Philadelphia monument run is significant because of Penn’s historic ties with each of the military branches,” Wilcox says. “The first commandant of the Marine Corps, Maj. Samuel Nicholas, attended Penn until 1752, and the first secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, graduated in 1777.”
“The battalion city run is a unique opportunity for our midshipmen to develop a connection to the origins of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and to those who have lost their lives in the defense of our nation,” Garcia adds.
A native of Slingerlands, N.Y., midshipman second class Matthew Weber has been a member of Penn’s NROTC unit since 2011. Now a junior at Wharton, he will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps when he graduates in 2015.
“The six-mile run is my favorite physical training evolution, besides beating Army ROTC in flag football, because camaraderie is at an all-time high,” says Miller, who also plays on the varsity women’s lacrosse team. “It kicks off before the sun has risen and our whole battalion runs through the city, yelling cadences together. Paying tribute to our fallen Sailors and Marines who dedicated their lives to ensuring our freedom is the least we can do.”
Miller, a native of Warrenton, Va., has been a member of Penn’s NROTC program for nearly three years and hopes to become a surface warfare officer on a destroyer or a cruiser based out of Rota, Spain, or San Diego, Calif.