By CourtesyNovember 13, 2018
PENSACOLA, Fla. - For some, fitness is a way of life. For others, it is an ugly, seven-letter word. For one naval aviator assigned to Naval Education and Training Command, it is a passion that has provided him an opportunity to test his physical and mental strength against other select, military members.
Cmdr. Timothy White, a Sharpsburg, Georgia native and 1998 graduate of East Coweta High School, was selected to participate in the Inter-Service Alpha Warrior Battle at Retama Park in Selma, Texas, Nov. 17.
"I am excited to once again represent the Navy against the other services," said White, a former walk-on for the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) football team and a three-year USNA cheerleader. "I want to beat Army and Air Force. I also want to support my Navy teammates in any capacity that I can."
According to Joanne Villaflor, performance enhancement dietician, Commander, Navy Installations Command, the Navy was invited for the first time by the Air Force to compete in their Alpha Warrior Battle Weekend.
"We contacted our Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) fitness professionals to identify personnel who might be interested and capable of competing," said Villaflor. "Fourteen names were submitted for consideration and we narrowed down that group to our best athletes."
White will be part of a seven-member, coed Navy team that will compete against Airmen and Soldiers for service bragging rights. Other Navy team members include: Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Bareng, Navy Warfare Development Command; Lt. j.g. Amanda Graham, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23; Senior Chief Naval Aircrewmen (Helicopter) Josh Husband, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Kristal Pena, Navy Operational Support Center San Antonio; Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Mikala Hawkins, Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station; and Hospitalman Drew Fast, HM 15.
White's passion for fitness began at an early age, participating in football and track and field as a teenager.
"I just wanted to be healthy and to take care of my body," said White. "I developed a fitness habit early that has carried over into my adulthood."
White credits two former East Coweta High School football coaches, Randall Smith and Clint Wade, for encouraging him to train and to develop athletically. This physical and mental toughness led to his commission and bachelor's degree in English from the USNA in 2002.
The Alpha Warrior Battle Weekend will consist of an armed forces familiarization on Thursday, followed by the Air Force team qualification and final battle on Friday, and culminates with the inter-service competition on Saturday.
The inter-service battle is a combination of 15 obstacles and functional fitness apparatuses to challenge the competitors in various ways to include climbing, pull-ups, gymnastic rings, running, jumping and weightlifting. Each service member will run individually with the winning service determined by the total team time.
Although White hasn't had much time to prepare for the Intra-Service Alpha Warrior Battle, he has confidence in his current training routine.
"About 80 to 90 percent of my physical training is NOFFS [Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System], where we use pull-ups, sandbags, agility training, and more to increase our fitness level," said White.
According to Villaflor, the Navy has similar fitness apparatuses to those used in Alpha Warrior that are integrated in Navy MWR fitness facilities.
"NOFFS provides the Navy with 'best in class' physical fitness and nutrition information for Sailors," said Villaflor. "NOFFS allows the Navy to maintain peak physical readiness, which is a top priority of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative."