599th Transportation scores a PT touchdown

| July 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

Col. Michael Knapp, 599th Trans. Bde. commander, looks for an open teammate down the field while 599th Trans. Bde. IT specialist Clayton Maciorowski defends during an ultimate football game at 599th unit PT on June 28 at Wheeler Army Airfield.

Story and photos by

Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Army units have wide latitude in deciding how to conduct physical training.

During his first PT with the unit on June 28, the 599th Transportation Brigade commander, Col. Michael Knapp, had brigade personnel who were on island divide into two teams to play ultimate football.

“This is about team building and communications,” said Knapp. “That’s what sports are. In ultimate football you have to keep in close communication with your teammates in order to move the ball down the field to be successful. That’s why I like it for unit PT.”

Department of the Army civilians are also welcome to participate in unit PT. Information management specialist Clayton Maciorowski played ultimate football with brigade Soldiers on June 28.

“It’s a great chance to have a good time with the people I work with and to get to know them better,” said Maciorowski, a former 25th Infantry Division Soldier. “I thought it sounded like fun, and I also kind of miss unit PT.”

Added Knapp, “This event really highlights the special people and uniqueness of the brigade. We have Airmen, Sailors, civilians and Soldiers sweating and working together.”

Team captains, Navy Cmdr. Ned Swanson of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Naval Reserve Unit Pacific, and Air Force Maj. Charles Boler IV, the 599th Trans. Bde. Command Operations Center chief, play rock, paper, scissors to decide on which team gets the first pass.

Although the game is fast, it is relatively safe. No kicking the ball or body contact is allowed. A player can only take five steps between receiving the ball and handing it off or throwing it to teammates. A turnover occurs any time a player violates a rule or the ball touches the ground.

“Soldiers should want to get up in the morning to do PT,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lynette Smith, 599th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment first sergeant. “This gets Soldiers up in the morning instead of just working a regular 9 (a.m.)-to-5 (p.m.) job. This gets their mindset ready to deal with the day.”

Capt. Mark Richardson, HHD commander, agreed.

“Unit PT is not really about the PT,” Richardson said. “It’s about building unit cohesion. If Soldiers sweat together, they come out more cohesive and the morale is better.

“It also makes sure that Soldiers are physically fit and have the endurance to undergo the stressful situations they encounter,” he explained.

Added Smith, “We have to see the Soldiers, especially at the beginning and the end of the workweek, to make sure they are accounted for and everything is OK at home.”

During the brigade’s first ultimate football game, the 599th played Belts vs. No Belts to distinguish teams. The winner was Belts, 9-8.

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