FORT HOOD, Texas (Sept. 7, 2016) -- Athletics is an important part of military culture, and within the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, are many such athletic talents. One Soldier assigned to the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, incorporates his military bearing, discipline, and drive into the sport of amateur boxing.
Cpl. Timothy Rojas, a North Bergen, New Jersey native, has applied his work ethic and discipline to become successful in both his boxing and military careers. Recently, he earned the title of Best Noncommissioned Officer in the brigade's Best Warrior Competition. The competition pitted the brigade's top Soldiers against each other, while competing for the opportunity to compete up to the III Corps and Fort Hood level of competition. During the Best Warrior Competition, the competitors tested their Army aptitude with urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, and hands-on testing of Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.
Using his military experience and training as a boxer, he says his "overall focus keeps (him) from distractions, and not only definitely help with the Best Warrior Competition for the Brigade but helped to maintain physicality, which is necessary in training and matches."
As a boxing competitor, Rojas competed in the 150-pound weight class at the Houston Open Ring National Boxing Tournament, Aug. 20-21, and earned 1st Place in his division. The tournament hosts three-member boxing teams from around the country to compete.
He also competed in the same weight class at the Georgetown, Texas "Sterling Gloves Tournament" where he brought home the championship belt and the title as 2016 Sterling Glove Champion for his weight class.
Under the instruction of Coach Jesse Ravelo, a former Olympic boxing coach for the 1996 and 2012 U.S. boxing teams, Cpl. Rojas perfects his craft six days a week. His training involves three days of sparring, bag routines, hand pads, and jumping rope.
Rojas says he first started boxing at the age of 12 and stepped away from the sport after turning 14, taking a break until last August. The pure physicality of the events prepares him for matches and Army physical fitness events.
"Training prepares me for the physicality of the (boxing) events, the competitions and other obstacles," Rojas said.
The combined training of boxing and military physical fitness has allowed Cpl. Rojas increase his overall fitness level. The benefits from both training events improved his fitness score to a maximum score of 300 points on the Army Physical Fitness Test.
His devotion to fitness and winning ensured his leadership chain of command took notice too.
Capt. Sean Birmingham, Commander of the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, spoke highly of Cpl. Rojas' professionalism and his abilities to take on challenges and conquer them.
"Rojas gets after problems, attacking them head on," said Birmingham. "He works out every day after work and weekends. Simply stating, the best way to describe his fitness shape, dedication and commitment is as 'phenomenal.'"
Birmingham also complimented the corporal's dedication to being a noncommissioned officer and proficient Soldier.
"He is an extraordinary professional and versatile NCO. He is both technical and competent in his work. HHC is very lucky to have him on the team," Birmingham said.
1st Sgt. Antoinette Juarez, the senior noncommissioned officer in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, echoed the commander's admiration for Rojas saying, "He has been doing great work since coming to the company. He is excelling at everything he's tasked with."
Whether it is in the field training for the brigade's next mission, or in the ring of his next big boxing challenge, it can be sure that Rojas will be upstanding, living up to the "Always Ready" motto of the 504th.