Story and Photo by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
One of the winners, Staff Sgt. Aaron Cheateaux, intelligence analyst, 8th MP Bde., exceeded the benchmarks through a good diet and adding CrossFit to his workout program. CrossFit, a strength and endurance exercise program, was recently incorporated into the brigade’s workout program.
To win 8th MP Bde. Iron Watchdog gold, male Soldiers must score “expert” in weapon qualifications, score 300 on the Army physical fitness test, run three miles in 22 minutes, perform 16 pull-ups, lift 120 percent of their body weight for five reps, complete a six-mile foot march in 84 minutes and swim 400 meters in 12 minutes.
Female Soldiers must score expert in weapons qualifications, score 300 in the APFT, run three miles in 24 minutes, perform a flex-arm hang for 70 seconds, bench-press 70 percent of their body weight for five reps, complete a six-mile foot march in 84 minutes and swim 400 meters in 14 minutes.
“The Iron Watchdog is not out of the reach for the average Soldier,” Cheateaux said. “With a proper workout regimen, it should be a standard.”
That proper workout regimen was something Cheateaux said he found halfway through his deployment to Iraq in 2009.
“I picked up CrossFit to help me get back in shape, and by the end of the deployment, I had lost 40 pounds,” Cheateaux said.
According to CrossFit.com, the program specializes on not specializing. CrossFit is a full-body workout that takes traditional lifts like the squat and dead-lift and places them in a workout set that may include pull-ups, push-ups or box-jumps.
Cheateaux wanted to share his success with his unit. So after he redeployed, he created a CrossFit program for the 8th MP Bde.
“The acquisition of the materials wasn’t hard,” Cheateaux said. “What we really needed was to get people trained and certified so they could teach their own sections and companies and have it become an integral part of their workouts. The program is slowly working its way through the brigade.
“The reception from the junior Soldiers has been great,” Cheateaux continued. “The high intensity and variety of the program not only has been pushing them physically, it’s been pushing them mentally. They’re learning they have so much more in the (energy) tank, and that their mind has to overcome those barriers.”
The results of good physical stamina extend beyond the physical training mat or the battlefield.
“When I’m out surfing, I can paddle forever, I can hold my breath longer, and I can hike wherever, whenever,” Cheateaux said. “Life just becomes better.”
For anyone that’s still wary about adding a CrossFit style workout to their fitness training, Cheateaux issues a challenge.
“Do CrossFit for 90 days and then take the Army physical training test and compare the results,” Cheateaux said. “You won’t turn back.”
Iron Watchdog Gold Award Winners
- Staff Sgt. Aaron Cheateaux, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
- Capt. Christopher Figueroa, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC
- Sgt. Matthew Lowe, 71st Chemical Company, 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC
- Sgt. 1st Class Eric Woody, 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC