1st Theater Sustainment Command


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‘Spears Ready’ Soldiers complete 18.6-mile Norwegian Foot March

By Sgt. 1st Class Mary Katzenberger | 1st Theater Sustainment Command | November 19, 2021

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait --

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — More than 20 Soldiers assigned to the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, based 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command completed an 18.6-mile Norwegian Foot March here, Nov. 13, 2021.

The Soldiers have been deployed since August serving in support of 1st Theater Sustainment Command. The Fort Knox, Kentucky, based unit is responsible for sustainment operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

The Norwegian Foot March began in 1915 and was designed to help Norwegian soldiers prepare for conditions they were expected to face during combat in World War I. To earn the badge, participants must carry 25-pounds and complete the course within prescribed time limits based on age and gender.

The march, which featured more than 450 international service member participants, was hosted by the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, based 29th Infantry Division.

Capt. Michael I. Boyd, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 29th ID, and organizer of the march, said he coordinated with a Norwegian military contact to certify the route and gain a clear understanding of the rules and standards.

“[Events like these] does quite a lot to boost morale,” Boyd said. “It’s something to train for, something for service members to look forward to and challenge themselves with, and for those who are able to qualify, they have some sort of pride where they can wear it and show they accomplished something.”

Spc. Jason A. W. Lansbury, a motor transport operator assigned to 3rd ESC, said the event was the longest foot march he has tackled thus far in his two-year Army career.

“Really [I’m] just trying to push myself to my limits and see what my body is capable of, what I’m capable of,” the Claude, Texas, native said. “During the march there were several times that I wanted to quit but I knew that it was almost over with and I just needed to take it one mile at a time.”

The specialist, 21, said his “don’t quit” mentality was an attitude instilled in him by the leadership at the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, based 18th Field Artillery Brigade, his previous unit.

“Basically my old leadership was trying to push us to better ourselves, not only as a person but as a Soldier, and it’s just something that stuck with me,” Lansbury said. “It had a huge impact on me.”

Staff Sgt. Alvia F. Guevara, a unit supply specialist assigned to 3rd ESC, said it was also the first time in her six-year Army career that she’s undertaken a foot march the distance of the Norwegian Foot March.

The Long Island, New York native said she has contemplated competing in similar events before, but has always talked herself out of it.

“I always think to myself, ‘I can’t do it … and I won’t do it,’” Guevara said. “Now I’ve been training more this past year so I thought, you know, I could be physically fit to finish it—I told myself I’m just going to go out there and try.”

The staff sergeant, 25, said she is her biggest critic, but she also felt like members of her unit did not think she would be capable of completing the event, either. After she had signed up for the event, she said some of her leaders told her that they did not think she was the type who would sign up for something like the Norwegian Foot March.

“I know that a lot of people, you know, see me as a female and think that I can’t do it, and that’s something that I wanted to prove to myself, that I can do it,” Guevara said. “It felt amazing because I had 15 minutes to spare and I thought to myself, I wanted to see what it would be like to finish and see how people would be proud of me to finish.

“Just for anybody that is going to read this, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it,” the staff sergeant continued. “If you want to do something just put your mind to it and go out there and do it”