Reserve Recruit Shatters Boot Camp Record

CAPE MAY, N.J. — Nearly 150 recruits, members of TRACEN Cape May staff, and Commander Officer CAPT Douglas Wisniewski gathered around the track to watch Seaman Recruit Paul McMullen shatter the boot camp record for the mile and half run Dec. 4.

The old record, which was set in early 2000, stood at 7 minutes, 26 seconds.  In spite of the bitter cold and gusty winds, McMullen shattered that record by 17 seconds in setting a new record of 7 minutes, 9.16 seconds.  It was an event that he had been training for daily throughout boot camp.  In addition to the already strenuous boot camp schedule, McMullen ran every evening before taps and every morning before reveille, as well as kept to a strict diet in order to keep himself in top shape.

SR Paul McMullen during his record-setting 1.5-mile run at TRACEN Cape May Dec. 4.  Photo by SA J.M. “Millie” Preciado

McMullen, originally from Cadillac, Mich., entered the Coast Guard as a reservist, and served as PAPA-163 squad leader.  McMullen joined the Coast Guard out of a desire to represent his country in a way other than through athletic events like the Olympics.

“I would like to be an important part of the promotion and image of the Coast Guard,” said McMullen, who would like to use his success to help motivate and encourage younger athletes to join the Coast Guard.

Recruits cheer on SR Paul McMullen during his record-setting 1.5-mile run at TRACEN Cape May Dec. 4.  Photo by SA J.M. “Millie” Preciado

His success before enlisting in the Coast Guard includes the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he finished ninth in the semifinals.  He was ranked number one in the U.S. in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2001, and has been named First Team All-American eight times.  He has competed successfully at several national championships for both indoor and outdoor track in the 1500 meters.

McMullen graduated from boot camp Dec. 13 and says his time there helped him develop a new sense of pride and determination, which he accredits to lead Company Commander HSC Eugene Mason and EMC Apple Heath, among others.  Heath feels honored to have met and to have impacted such a determined individual.

“I am very proud of SR McMullen and the results of his accomplishments,” said Heath.  “It is an honor to be recognized as an influential leader that primed his desires to excel in his endeavors.”

In addition to serving in the Coast Guard, McMullen plans to continue his training in preparation for the 2004 Olympic games is Athens, Greece.

— By SA J. M. “Millie” Preciado