Meeting the Army Physical Fitness Test standard is expected of every Soldier, but those who exceed the standard are awarded the Army's Physical Fitness badge.
U.S. Army Central recognized 59 Soldiers who recently exceed Army standards by scoring 270 points or above on their APFT during an award ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, May 21.
Each event is scored and the points are added together to produce the Soldier's final score on the overall test.
Col. James Bushong, USARCENT's forward deputy chief of staff, presided over the ceremony and stressed the importance of physical fitness within the Army performance triad, one of the top priorities of Lt. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, USARCENT commanding general.
"PT is just one of the legs of the triad; mental, physical and spiritual health," said Bushong. "These Soldiers have shown that they have worked diligently on the physical side of that triad. They have said 'I'm going to be the best that I can be at it, and I'm going to show the Army that not only do I achieve the standard, but I beat it.'"
Along with earning the PT badge, Soldiers who scored a perfect 300 on the test received Army Achievement Medals. Soldiers who scored between 270 and 299 were awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Capt. David Dinklocker, a budget officer, and Spc. Nicholas Reedy, a budget analyst, both with the USARCENT financial management office, received awards.
Beyond unit PT, they both believe it is essential to maintain a workout plan and keep themselves accountable to sticking with it.
"I personally developed a fitness plan and schedule for myself," said Dinklocker, a native of Charleston, West Virginia. "Like Lt. Gen. Garrett, I feel that physical training is a part of our everyday culture and our responsibility as Soldiers."
Reedy volunteered for this deployment to Kuwait and noticed he has a lot less distractions keeping him from maintaining his physical fitness. Along with regular training, he participates in high impact intensity training and functional fitness classes available at Camp Arifjan.
"Physical fitness requires a level of personal commitment from each individual Soldier," said Sgt. Maj. Raymond Mazola, the USARCENT forward operations sergeant major. "In other words, if we work with 'big boy' rules and no one is there to make sure you do PT, then you have to have self-discipline and make sure to do it yourself."
According to Mazola, USARCENT forward leaders push Soldiers to take personal responsibility for their fitness outside of organized PT sessions because it is such an important part of the Army lifestyle.
"This shows that hard work, discipline, and a little self-motivation will put you above your peers," said Mazola, a native of Fortson, Georgia. "I would like to see this ceremony conducted every quarter, along with a PT test, so more Soldiers have the opportunity to excel and start living a healthier lifestyle."