SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI -- Conducting physical fitness is something everyone in the Army is required to do. At the unit level it is the responsibility of the First Sergeant and company commander to ensure their Soldiers meet and maintain Army standards.

Ensuring Soldiers in the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade have every opportunity to succeed, 1st Sgt. Anthony Bishop designed and implemented a program titled Special Population PT.

The program was originally designed for Soldiers who needed additional assistance in areas they were weaker in. But, after those same people made significant and very visible improvements, it became populated by Soldiers who were coming back from injuries, giving birth, TDY, extended leave, or simply wanted to make their current fitness level even better.

The program combines weight training and cardio workouts three times a week that are tailored to the needs of the Soldier. This is different from the normal PT session given in a formation.

"[We conduct] weight training on Tuesday and Thursday, and Cardio on Wednesdays. Sometimes weight training is mixed with light cardio depending on the needs of individuals in the program," said Sgt. Dejuan Bowdry, one of the program trainers. "[The program] works. It makes the Soldiers feel good about themselves when they see their [PT] scores increase and their weight decrease."

The success stories continue to surface too.

"I like it [the program]. It helps everybody who puts the time and effort in to it," said Pfc. Ashley Hogan, a beneficiary of the program. I gained 41 points on my PT score."

For Bishop knowing his Soldiers are pleased and doing well in the program is all that matters.

"Special Pops makes me proud because it validates that if Soldiers are willing to put the effort into getting better they will," Bishop said. "The Soldiers who have exceeded the goals that were set for them all want to continue although there is no requirement on them to stay in the program. Soldiers are fired up and more importantly they rave about how good the program is."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16