By Mr. Brian Murphy (INSCOM)April 15, 2015
In March, the National Football League held a "veteran combine," allowing former professional football players the chance to work out in front of teams in hopes of landing a new contract.
While there wasn't an NFL contract on the line, more than 30 Soldiers from the 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 704th MI Brigade, were given an equally impressive opportunity -- as they took over FedExField, home to the Washington Redskins, for a highly-memorable physical fitness session, April 2.
"I just wanted to get out of the monotony of what we normally do over at Fort Meade and try something different," said Sgt. Anthony Wooley, who coordinated the event. "I figured this was a good opportunity for us to get out with the local community, do something fun that the Soldiers would be excited about and it's nice partnering with the Redskins, who do a lot for the troops."
In 2014, the NFL franchise launched Redskins Salute, the official military appreciation club of the Redskins, which was created specifically with current and former service members in mind as a free community to connect, serve and support military members, their families and friends. According to a team spokesman, the 704th MI Brigade's physical fitness session was a natural extension of that program.
"It was an honor to host the U.S. Army this morning at FedExField," said Tony Wyllie, senior vice president of communications for the Redskins. "The Washington Redskins are committed to supporting the men and women who serve our country and protect our freedom. We are extremely proud of Redskins Salute, our official military appreciation club that impacts thousands of service members annually."
The morning's PT started out with light stretching, followed by some sprints the length of the football field and then a spirited game of ultimate frisbee.
"We have a lot of Redskins fans in our platoon and our company, so it was fun to be on the field and running the 100 yards -- it's a lot farther than you think when you're watching it on TV," Wooley said. "It was a good workout and a lot of fun."
At the conclusion of the game, the Soldiers took a lap around the lower bowl of the stadium and then posed for a group photo.
"It was really exciting to be out there with all of my fellow Soldiers, but I was nervous," said Sgt. Pia Dozo-Rodriguez, who led the training. "Those nerves went away pretty quickly though when I saw everyone was partaking and everyone was motivated.
"Everyone was laughing and everyone was having a lot of fun," Dozo-Rodriguez added. "It was really cool and we really felt at home with the Redskins staff."
Because the event went so well for everyone involved, the Redskins have already extended an invitation for the 704th MI Brigade to return later this year for another PT session.
The 704th MI Brigade conducts mission command of global cryptologic operations in support of national, operational and tactical commanders' intelligence requirements to gain decisive advantage in the operational environment.