Physical training is a cornerstone of the Army. Whether in combat or garrison, a Soldier’s physical fitness helps them complete any mission they are assigned. Strike, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, believes in setting and maintaining standards for the physical fitness of its Soldiers.
To prove that, command staff of Strike Brigade participated in Strike 6 Physical Training, July 20-22 and 26.
Colonel Daniel Walrath, the new brigade commander and Strike 6 of 2nd BCT, led the PT session which began with a review of Strike Brigade’s history, followed by stretching in preparation for the workout.
Depending on the schedule, five or six events are held with running between each event to help Soldiers develop stamina to prepare for the hard work expected during a deployment.
“This is physically and mentally demanding work,” said Sgt. Joshua Brown, a non-commissioned officer in Strike Brigade’s air defense systems and assistant NCO in charge of the PT session. “There is a lot of running, jumping and heavy lifting. It’s definitely a challenge.”
The Soldiers split into teams prior to the events. These teams compete against one another to see which one completes the course first.
This allows the command staff and senior noncommissioned officers to interact and bond with one another.
“The commander’s intent is to set the standard for physical training for the brigade and build camaraderie between the command staff personnel,” said Sgt. Maj. Jaime Guarino, operations sergeant major for 2nd BCT and senior noncommissioned officer in charge of the Strike 6 PT program. “When we deploy again these commanders will have a better connection with each other and work together better.”
The PT program was set in place two and a half years ago by Col. Arthur Kandarian, former commander of the brigade, and is regularly held on each Friday, said Guarino.
Conducting multiple sessions of Strike 6 PT gave the new commander a chance to meet and bond with his command staff.
“I want to get to know you better,” Walrath said, addressing the Soldiers before the start of training. “It’s important that we learn how to work together, both here and on deployment.”
Walrath also talked about the importance of leaders being an example for their Soldiers, especially in physical training.
“How a Soldier performs during physical training will tell a leader a lot about how they will perform during a mission,” said Walrath.
Push-ups, wall climbing, running, weight lifting, medicine ball tossing and other assorted exercises not only strengthen the body, but the mind as well.
As Soldiers condition their bodies, their minds grow accustomed to pushing the limits of their physical and mental tolerance, reaching to complete a set of push-ups, or a more complex goal during a mission.
“This is great training,” said Capt. Robert Kinney, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT and participant in the Strike 6 PT. “It’s very challenging. The training isn’t just for the physical aspects. When we deploy again it will be easier to work together now that we all know each other’s names and faces.”