Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Michael R. Noggle
10th Special Forces Group (A) Public Affairs noncommissioned officer
More than 25 Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) participated in the Unit Ministry Team Cappadocian Martyrs Run at Red Rock Canyon, Colorado Springs, Feb. 27.
The run was to memorialize 40 Roman soldiers who would not recant their Christian faith when so ordered by the legion’s governor about 313 A.D. The soldiers were forced to strip naked and stand on a frozen lake until they renouncing their faith.
“I wanted to tie-in this event to memorialize the 40 that died for their faith and to challenge those who would be here for the run that we could also do the same thing,” said Chap. (Maj.) Randy Griffin, 10th SFG (A). “We can publicly live out our faith without being afraid for what we believe as Christians.”
With hot baths set up around the perimeter of the lake to entice the Romans to recant, none of the soldiers broke ranks until the third day. One soldier ran to the bath but died immediately from shock.
As a result of their determination, one soldier who was not originally a martyr, but had been tasked to carry out the punishment, ended up joining the 39 remaining. All 40 would die for their faith.
“The legend of their sacrifice and level of their commitment to the Christian faith became something that was immediately public,” Griffin said.
At the completion of the three-mile run, the 10th SFG (A) Soldiers gathered near a lake where Griffin and other unit chaplains delivered the story of the Cappadocian martyrs. Runners also received a patch that inducts them into the Order of the Cappadocian Martyrs.
“I think the story speaks for itself about those willing to publicly commit themselves to their Christian faith,” Griffin explained. “This was quite a sacrifice.”