Story and photo by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
HONOLULU – Being physically fit is an important component to being a good Soldier. Sometimes, however, the physical part of the workout is only part of the benefit.
Every month, the senior noncommissioned officers of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, get together to exercise and build cohesion.
“This is our chance for us senior NCOs to get together, outside of the work environment, and build our relationships within the unit,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia, senior enlisted leader, 8th STB.
Each session is organized and run by a different section in the battalion.
In past sessions, STB senior NCOs participated in activities such as yoga, Zumba and overall beach PT, as well as climbing to the top of Koko Head and hiking to the historic Makapuu Lighthouse. These hikes gave the senior NCOs far-reaching views of Hawaii, so the organizers of this month’s PT, July 27, focused on giving the senior NCOs the chance to see a different side of Hawaii.
“When I found out it was our section’s turn to lead senior NCO PT, I knew I wanted to continue the recent tradition of scenic hikes, to take full advantage of what being stationed in Hawaii has to offer,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler, Public Affairs NCOIC and 8th TSC organizer for the day’s PT. “Most Soldiers think of the mountains and beaches, but there is much more of Hawaii that many of them haven’t had the opportunity to see and experience. We wanted to give them that opportunity.”
The public affairs section chose Manoa Falls, here, for the PT session. The 1.5-mile hike to the falls passes through many ecosystems and feels like an arboretum, said many of the senior NCOs. The trail ends with a 150-foot waterfall that empties into a tiny pool. The path is often muddy and slippery, so the senior NCOs were advised to wear older clothes.
“The tropical jungle canopy was a welcome change of pace,” said Master Sgt. Michael Rowsam, NCOIC, communications operations, 8th TSC. “Having ocean views is nice, too, but getting to experience this type of view brings a different perspective to Hawaii.”
“I think the hikes are perfect for this program because NCOs of all different fitness levels can enjoy the workout,” Wheeler said. “Each section tries to outdo the last month’s PT, so I am excited to see what they have in store for us next time.”