The Fort Jackson Salute Battery fires off a round as a unit crosses the release point of the post's Holiday Run, Dec. 13. The battery fired a round for every unit that finished the run. (Photo by Nathan Clinebelle)

Cadence, ‘holiday howitzers’ wake up Jackson

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Their mission was to wake up the installation with loud and thunderous cadence.

They were dressed in Army Physical Fitness Uniforms – some with Santa hats, Christmas lights or ugly sweaters.

They were Soldiers from across post running in the annual Holiday Run, Dec. 13 at Darby Field on post.

“Our job this morning is to wake up the installation; to really wake up everyone on Fort Jackson,” said Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commander, prior to the to the Soldiers (including one elf) at the start of the run.

“I want to see a car move a little bit because we are so loud,” he said. “I want to see a little bit of a rumble.”

The post rumbled with the strains of cadence, sounds of feet hitting the pavement, the serenade of the 282nd Army Band, and the booming cannonade of Fort Jackson’s “holiday howitzers.” After each battalion-sized unit passed the end of the run, they were greeted with celebratory cannon fire courtesy of the Fort Jackson Salute Battery.

121322-A-ZN169-007.jpg“It is my hope that you all allow the spirit of the holiday season to fill your heart and your home with love, peace and joy,” Kelly said, wishing the troops a happy holiday. “I am grateful for all that you do, in all that we are doing to preserve the peace by the strength of the U.S. Army and the readiness we are generating here at Fort Jackson.

“I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”