JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Sgt. Cleveland Wright, native of Savannah, Ga., and supply sergeant for the 602nd Maintenance Company from Fort Hood, Texas, motivated 35 Soldiers who were enrolled in the company's remedial physical training program since arriving here in June 2008.

The Soldiers entered the program for physical fitness, weight control, or both.

"The environment in theater has a lot to do with the success of the Soldiers in the program," Wright said. "Physical fitness is done by everybody, everywhere you go. One can concentrate on oneself and they don't have the distractions of alcohol and restaurants they have at home."

Wright said the troops' hard work and motivation paid off when 10 Soldiers improved their Army Physical Fitness Test scores by 20 to 50 points thus passing their APFT; 15 Soldiers met the Army weight control standard.

Part of Wright's physical training program, required the participants to meet twice a day for one hour and conduct various forms of physical activity.

"With the weather (here), they can participate in more outside activities. Soldiers walk everywhere with their weapons and their bodies know the change," he said.

"I can continue to be involved in Soldiers lives every day and feel like I have made a difference," he said. "Seeing the benefits of your work, such as seeing an irresponsible Soldier become a responsible one and ready to lead."

Although Wright has many career options in the military, he said he will remain an NCO and "continue to advise" Soldiers. While his "biggest fear growing up was I wasn't going to be something but as an NCO, I'm a big brother to some and a little brother to others."

Wright advises young Soldiers that "They must be versatile, understand their job. Turn things into positives, be flexible and have the ability to adapt to your environment."

Wright said he was commended by his first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Curtis Spann, from Branden, Miss., for the success of the remedial physical training program.

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