Dec. 5, 2007

116th Infantry Regimental Muster celebrated in Virginia, Iraq

More than 200 runners participated in the 116th Infantry Brigade 5K run Nov. 10 in Baghdad. The run was held as part of the celebration of the 116th Regimental Muster. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Raul Rivera, JASG Public Affairs)

By Staff Sgt. Raul Rivera
Joint Area Support Group Public Affairs

BAGHDAD – On Nov. 10, with “A Tribute to the Military Family” as the theme, the annual 116th Infantry Regimental Muster was celebrated at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton, Va.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Muster. Since the last Muster the Brigade has organized and deployed 15 units making up to two battalions and three separate companies from across the state.

This year’s muster was a celebration to the family members and friends left behind by all those deployed soldiers and that have been supporting them throughout their deployments.

The Muster tradition started 265 years ago when the able-bodied men of the Shenandoah Valley met to organize what has become one of the most recognized and historical units in the United States Army.

Over the years the Muster has continued to grow and approximately 500 people attended this year, including 15 D-Day veterans.

“I started attending the Muster 15 years ago,” said Maj. Allan W. Carter, Joint Area Support Group deputy chief of staff for personnel. “It was held in the armory with about 150 to 200 in attendance.”  

This year’s Muster included various activities; there was a parade in downtown Staunton, a 5k race, a book signing, a social dinner and entertainment.

Authors Bob Slaughter and Joe Balkowski were present to sign their recently released books “Omaha Beach and Beyond” and “Omaha Beach and Beyond the Beachhead,” respectively.

Runners await the start of the 116th Infantry Brigade 5K run Nov. 10 in Baghdad. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Raul Rivera, JASG Public Affairs)

 

“There are usually people who attend from as far away as Texas and Ohio, and sometimes other countries. We had the mayor of a city in France attend four years ago,” said Carter. 

The Muster is a long-standing tradition for the 116th Infantry Regiment and every year it is attended by former division, brigade and company commanders and sergeant majors, retirees, retired dignitaries and at least 10 general officers.

On the same day, the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team currently deployed in the International Zone Baghdad, Iraq was having their own 116th Regimental 5k Shadow Run as part of the celebration of the 116th Regimental Muster. The run was open to everyone that wanted to participate. In total 214 runners participated. After the race there was a picnic for the Joint Area Support Group servicemember hosted by Col. William R. Phillips II, the JASG Commander.

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