TORII STATION, Okinawa, Japan - Army Strong was put to the test when Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Regional Support Group hosted the first annual Power Lifting Competition April 30 at Torii Station Gymnasium.

"Cpt. Tad E. Pugh [HHC commander] and I are promoting higher levels of fitness and chose to sponsor a power lifting competition to tap into the warrior spirit that our Soldier's possess," said First Sgt. Raymond P. Quitugua, first sergeant HHC, 10th RSG.

Staff Sgt. Mareo O. Alexander, a satellite communications systems operator-maintainer, 333rd Signal Company, 78th Signal Battalion, and a native of Houston, Texas, was the heavy metal master of this competition. He bench pressed 335 pounds, dead lifted 405 pounds and squatted 315 pounds.

"I feel great about winning. It was my first competition and I really appreciate HHC, 10th RSG for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to compete," said Alexander. "I exceeded my personal goal. Sgt. Andrew Ester convinced me to try all the events, not just the bench press, and I did very well."

Sgt. Andrew M. Ester, petroleum supply specialist, promoted the power lifting event for HHC, 10th RSG. He used the Schwartz Formula to evaluate all competitors on an equal basis, comparing successful lifts against body weight.

"I devote four to six days a week to lifting in general," said Alexander. "I would tell anyone who wants to get into lifting weights that it's fun, it's challenging and it's beneficial. It is a lifestyle."