More than 50 runners toed the starting line outside Magrath Sports Complex, as the Fort Drum Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program hosted a 5K run to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8. Runners were encouraged to wear purple in support of International Women’s Day. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
10th Mountain Division Soldiers celebrate International Women’s Day with chilly 5K run
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (March 10, 2021) – More than 50 runners toed the starting line outside Magrath Sports Complex, as the Fort Drum Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program hosted a 5K run to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8.
International Women’s Day, established in 1911, is a global day of celebrating women’s achievements and promoting gender equality.
“This is a day where we show our appreciation for women who have accomplished great things in different fields throughout history and around the world,” said Spc. Catherine Rivas-Chanta, BOSS representative for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
While the month of March is highly recognized as being Women’s History Month, Rivas-Chanta said that she wanted to draw attention to an observance that some people may not realize exists. This was the first event that the BOSS program organized in support of International Women’s Day, and Rivas-Chanta said that she was proud to lead the effort.
“My intent was for people to acknowledge International Women’s Day, because not many people know that it has its own day,” she said. “It’s meant to be celebrated, and I felt this was a way we could do that and get Soldiers involved.”
It happened to be the coldest morning of the week, with the temperature hovering around 10 degrees F, but Rivas-Chanta was happy that the weather did not discourage attendance.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be a very big event at all,” she said. “But everyone who showed up had this positivity and great attitude, and that made me feel like we accomplished something to be proud of.”
Rivas-Chanta also takes pride in serving as a cannon crewmember with 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st BCT. It was only five years ago when the first female Soldier graduated from this military occupational specialty, and Rivas-Chanta is among the first women to serve in that role at Fort Drum.
She is also the first woman in her family to serve in the military, and Rivas-Chanta credits her grandmother for inspiring her.
“She is the glue of the family, and she’s a woman who has taught me that I should never let anything stop me or hold me back from doing things,” she said.
Rivas-Chanta said that she admires how her grandmother encourages others in her very large family to accomplish their goals.
“She has pushed every one of my aunts and uncles to succeed, and that also inspires and motivates me,” she said.
Rivas-Chanta said that International Women’s Day is also an opportunity for people to reflect on women who have mentored and influenced them.
“I feel like that is something we should all reflect on and realize what (we’ve) accomplished this far in life because of women,” she said.
Capt. Carolyn Drexler, A Company, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, joined Soldiers in her company for the morning 5K run.
“It’s important for us to support International Women’s Day, because we have many women in Atlas Company and we want to recognize their accomplishments,” she said. “At the same time, we celebrate diversity in the Army, and it is important for everyone in the formation to support one another regardless of gender.”
To learn more about the Fort Drum BOSS program and upcoming events, visit www.facebook.com/bossfortdrum/.