By Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellNovember 13, 2014
(Editor's Note: Part 3/3 in a series of stories looking into the lives of Soldiers participating in the Army Reserve's Performance Triad)
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- For two weeks, one Army Reserve Soldier volunteered to get up at 5 a.m. to help Soldiers improve their fitness levels.
For the past two weeks, Sgt. 1st Class Cassidy Moore, from Richmond, Virginia, has been working with 290th Military Police Brigade Soldiers participating in a two-week Performance Triad program.
The Performance Triad is a comprehensive plan to improve readiness and increase resilience through public health initiatives and leadership engagement.
The focus of the Performance Triad is on Sleep, Activity, and Nutrition - key actions that influence health in the "Lifespace" of time that isn't spent with a health care provider.
Moore is a master fitness trainer with the 94th Training Division and the Fort Knox Master Fitness Trainer Course. The MFTC provides the force with certified fitness advisors who serve as additional duty special advisors to unit commanders to facilitate physical training based on Field Manual 7-22.
As temperatures dipped near freezing and only small work floodlights provided any hint of Soldiers standing on a large field, Moore and other MFTs worked with Soldiers to learn how to properly implement the Army's Physical Readiness Training exercises.
"We get with them nightly to help them develop a plan for the morning," Moore said. "We want them to know what PRT will be conducted and how it can be conducted."
Moore said her team emphasized precision, progression and integration.
"It's important to have precision in PRT to do the exercises correctly, because if you do not have precision you run the risk of injury," she said. "Whenever you have injury as a Soldier, you usually end up being out of the fight and on a profile."
As a Reserve Soldier, she said it's difficult for Soldiers to get back into the fight because much of their care comes from their civilian primary care provider and that cost could deter Soldiers from getting the proper care needed.
"The less injuries we have, the better off we are, and the more Soldiers we can put into the fight," she said.
During the two weeks, Soldiers had the opportunity to lead a company-size formation in PRT exercise.
"As time goes on, we pulled students out front so they know and understand how the cadence and count goes," she said. "Confidence is half the battle."
Moore said she hoped Soldiers walked away knowing the correct way to exercise using PRT all aspects of the Performance Triad.
"We helped them with diet and nutrition," she said. "We want them to stay within the standards but also learn to take care of their bodies while not in uniform. We want them to go back to their units with more knowledge and the tools to teach their unit how to conduct the PRT program."
After PRT, Soldiers had a daylong opportunity and learned how to use fitness equipment in a gym.
Moore spent that time to educate Soldiers about how to use a treadmill and other equipment in a gym.
"We want you to get the most out of your experience in a gym," she told a small group of Soldiers. "You can't get on a treadmill and start walking. It's not doing anything for you."
Moore explained that adding resistance and variance to an exercise could improve performance.
After the Soldiers left, Moore admitted she hasn't always been into fitness and her life wasn't on a path of success.
"I got into fitness because there was a time in my life when I was not passing my APFT," she said. "I had to be taped. I got tired of being that person."
For nearly four years, Moore was running the risk of being kicked out of the Army because she failed APFT and weight standards.
"I wanted to be an NCO. I wanted this to be a career," she said. "I had to get my life on track, so I became very interested in fitness."
After realizing her physical fitness level had put her career on hold, Moore knew she had to work to stay in the Army.
"I started going to the gym and watching other people," she said. "I started picking their brains and educating myself on how and what to do in the gym and what to do get my body in shape -- I wanted to stay in the Army."
Fast forward several years, Moore now stood as an example for two weeks for nearly 400 Soldiers going through the pilot program.
"Our greatest asset in the Army is the Soldier," she said. "I am here today to reinvest in our Soldiers and help them with their second chance."