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August 26, 2011

Training

Soldiers get training to meet PT standards

Soldiers whose military careers are in jeopardy because they can’t meet Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) or height/weight standards got another chance to get back on track at Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: An instructor advises Soldiers from the 649th Regional Support Group during a physical-readiness training session at Fort McCoy. Photo by Rob Schuette
An instructor advises Soldiers from the 649th Regional Support Group during a physical-readiness training session at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The Army Reserve Soldiers from the 649th Regional Support Group (RSG) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, participated in a physical-readiness training session at Fort McCoy in August.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Ploeger of the 649th RSG said the two-week session, which included basic- and advanced training about physical fitness, is designed to give the Soldiers what they need to succeed.

“We can’t fix what is wrong in two weeks,” Ploeger said. “What we can give them is the tools to take home and work on meeting the standards.”

Training at Fort McCoy included nutritional screening and advice, and various physical activities to work on their conditioning.

Soldiers took an APFT and had a height/weigh-in session to establish their baseline numbers.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Massey, the 649th operations sergeant, said he believed by the end of the course about 40 percent of the Soldiers participating would pass the APFT.

PHOTO: Soldiers from the 649th Regional Support Group compete in a tire-pushing/rolling event. Photo by Rob Schuette
Soldiers from the 649th Regional Support Group compete in a tire-pushing/rolling event during a physical-readiness training session at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The course started slowly and built up so the Soldiers could see the results of their hard work, Massey said.

“The Soldiers who came here were very motivated to meet the standards,” Massey said. “We want to motivate them (to do the physical training) and develop esprit de corps and teamwork and go back to the unit and make it better from the bottom up.”

Many of the cadre doing the training at Fort McCoy were surprised by the teamwork the Soldiers exhibited, he said.

Ploeger said when the attendees return to their home stations, they will need to continue to work on the areas that need improvement.

Unit commanders also will provide counseling support for the Soldiers.

“The bottom line is we can’t go home with the Soldiers and personally monitor what they’re doing,” he said.

“This is a wake-up call for the Soldiers. It’s up to them to take the tools we’ve given them, follow through and decide if they want to and will do what they need to do to continue their military careers,” he said.

Massey said the Soldiers will be held accountable for their actions and must set markers and goals so they meet physical- fitness standards over the long haul.

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