Kentucky warrant officers host first memorial run

By Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lyddane

Sgt. Maj. Marshall Ware, Chief Master Sgt. Ray Dawson and State Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden race to the finish of the Warrant to Run 5K in Versailles, Ky., May 16, 2016. (Photo by Hannah Segura)

Sgt. Maj. Marshall Ware, Chief Master Sgt. Ray Dawson and State Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden race to the finish of the Warrant to Run 5K in Versailles, Ky., May 16, 2016. The USA Warrant Officer Association ‘Long Rifle Chapter’ hosted the event with more than 130 registered runners in attendance that included several branches of the Armed Forces, retirees, civilians, and some of the top leadership of the Kentucky National Guard. (Photo by Hannah Segura)

VERSAILLES, Ky. — On May 14, the USA Warrant Officer Association ‘Long Rifle Chapter’ hosted its first Warrant to Run 5k in Versailles, Kentucky. There were over 130 registered runners in attendance that included several branches of the Armed Forces, retirees, civilians, and some of the top leadership of the Kentucky Army National Guard.

The event started with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem performed by Emily Gampper, a prayer by Capt. John Richardson, USAF Chaplain, followed by a ‘most patriotic’ attire contest where Sgt. 1st Class Brian Mangum of Joint Force Headquarters was awarded a United States Flag with certificate of authenticity having been flown over the Nation’s Capital by Senator Mitch McConnell’s administration.

Taking first place in the 5k was David Robeson who ran a 19:41 and not far behind him, taking second place with a time of 20:09 was Maj. Varinka Ensminger, a member of the Kentucky National Guard Marathon Team.

During the post-race ceremony, the president of the association, Chief Warrant Officer Don Harlan, presented the winners with their respective awards and handed out several prizes. Officers of the Kentucky National Guard, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers from across the state exemplified the esprit de corps and camaraderie that the community has come to expect from the National Guard.

When asked about the event, The State Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden stated, “It was an honor and a challenge to complete the Warrant to Run course. It was motivating and encouraging to see so many members of the Kentucky Guard out on the course and to see the level of fitness and commitment.”

The theme behind the event was to promote fitness while supporting a great cause; which, according Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops, the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the State, “synchronized very well with The Adjutant General’s recent initiative to place increased emphasis on Soldier physical fitness.”

Established in 1972, the USAWOA has represented the cohort across all echelons to ensure Warrant Officers are afforded the opportunities they need to excel professionally. The Long Rifle Chapter is an affiliation of the USAWOA and has plans to use the money raised during this event to enrich the lives of military dependents through college scholarship programs as well as donate a portion to the Guard Memorial Fund.

Stoops was very pleased with the efforts of the Long Rifle Chapter Officers and Event Coordinators to do something that will help the chapter support the USAWOA Scholarship Program and the new Kentucky National Guard Memorial, both of which are funded through private contributions.

“This will not only allow the chapter to do something meaningful for our current Warrant Officers and their Families, but also honor the memory of those Kentucky National Guardsmen who lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Stoops.

Harlan also expressed his thanks for a successful event.

“I am extremely pleased with the success of our first annual, A Warrant to Run 5K,” he said.  “The USAWOA Long Rifle Chapter has searched for a long time to find an event to help support not only our association but one that would allow us to give back to our community. Through the efforts of the many volunteers, sponsors, the Woodford County community, and Kentucky National Guard Warrant Officers the event far exceeded my expectations. I especially want to thank Jennifer Lydanne, wife of CW2 Joseph Lyddane, for her guidance in planning our event. I am sure her experience and endless energy contributed greatly to the run’s huge success. The proceeds will allow us to provide for the maintenance of the Kentucky National Guard Memorial and fund our chapter scholarship and awards program.”

For more information on Warrant Officer History or to learn how to become a Warrant Officer, contact Chief Warrant Officer Ryan Turner at 502.607.6200.

 

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