PRT improvements test strength, endurance, focus

| September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
1st Lt. Fawn Robar, executive officer, Operations Co., HHBN, 25th ID, maneuvers through an obstacle course during PRT at Victory Base Complex, Iraq, recently.

1st Lt. Fawn Robar, executive officer, Operations Co., HHBN, 25th ID, maneuvers through an obstacle course during PRT at Victory Base Complex, Iraq, recently.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Stephen Scott
29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Physical fitness changes help prepare Soldiers for battlefield 

BAGHDAD — Weighed down with water cans, ammunition cans and packages of bottled water, Soldiers ascended a hill in a line that made them look like ants returning to their nest with provisions.

However, the Soldiers of Signal Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, weren’t carrying supplies to contribute to a logistical mission on Camp Liberty, Iraq.

This maneuver was their first introduction to the Army’s new Physical Readiness Training, or PRT, program.

“The (PRT) program is long overdue for the Army,” said Capt. Steven Schnurr, commander, Operations Co., HHBN. “This (program) has created a better tool for commanders to assess their Soldiers on their physical readiness for any contingency operation worldwide.”

The battalion transitioned to the PRT program, Aug. 1, and it allowed leadership of the subordinate companies to develop their own exercise regimens within PRT guidelines.

That ingenuity is keeping Soldiers involved.

“Mentally, they’re more aware,” said 1st Sgt. Rodney Morant, first sergeant, Operations Co. “They’re interested in the exercises because it’s something new.”

“They love coming out and doing something different,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Terrell, communications security management officer, 25th ID. “Usually, the stuff we do, you see people looking at us like, ‘Man, why aren’t we doing training like that,’ so it’s pretty motivating.”

One new training method for the Operations Co. is running an obstacle course designed to integrate the principles of the PRT’s different strength, mobility and endurance drills. The course consists of hurdles, balance beams, ammunition-can carries, a litter drag, high and low walls, and a slalom run.

All of the physical fitness activities are intended to help Soldiers perform better in full-spectrum operations.

Climbing, conditioning, hip-stability and core drills are incorporated into this one obstacle course, Morant said.

Signal Co. Soldiers also managed to find unique ways to achieve their fitness goals, such as traveling up and down a hill carrying various objects or pushing vehicles.

“The water carry, carrying various 50- and 75-pound water jugs up the hill, definitely tests your strength, endurance and mental focus,” said Spc. Christopher Giovannetti, armorer, Signal Co.

“There’s so much stuff you can do with the litter carries, the buddy carries, climbing over the bunkers, carrying stuff, toting stuff and Humvee pushes,” Terrell said. “Instead of just sitting in the office or just coming out and doing the normal push-ups and sit-ups, you can mix it up and have fun at the same time.”

No matter the method, HHBN companies have accepted the mission of moving forward with fitness routines that will help Soldiers better prepare for the battlefield.

“I’ve been in Army for 24 years, and finally, after 24 years, we’re going to the change that’s been talked about for more than 20 years,” Morant said.

Many of the newer Soldiers share the same opinion and enthusiasm for the implementation of the PRT program as seasoned veterans.

“I think the program is very helpful,” Giovannetti said. “I think the battlefield-focused training is what the Army needs right now.”

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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