FORT KNOX, Ky. -- The U.S. Army Recruiting Command is seeking more than just Future Soldiers these days. As part of the Army's recent accessions overhaul, USAREC is recruiting current Soldiers who are elite athletes to become part of the new U.S. Army Warrior Fitness team.
USAREC's command team, Maj. Gen. Frank. Muth and Command Sgt. Maj. Tabitha Gavia, recently started this initiative as part of the Army's desire to increase outreach and recruiting efforts and create a more personal connection with the American people.
"As we change our recruiting models from industrial to digital age systems and implementation techniques, we recognize that youth operate on a variety of different planes," Muth said. "A couple of different realms are functional fitness and esports."
Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. These movements include strength, balance/coordination, power, range of motion, and mobility.
CrossFit is one type of workout classified as functional fitness training. According to a recent report from CNBC, "By the numbers, CrossFit is possibly the biggest fitness trend in the world. CrossFit has approximately 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries, up from 13 in 2005." There are also several other popular types of workouts that are classified as functional fitness training, including High Intensity Interval Training and Total Body Resistance Exercise.
USAREC will now have a presence in this fitness demographic with the U.S. Army Warrior Fitness team. The team will represent the Army at fitness competitions and health expositions that help bring awareness to the Army and the recruiters that will be at those events. The team will be part of the USAREC Marketing Engagement Brigade at Fort Knox.
First Sgt. Glenn Grabs, a certified functional fitness coach, is leading the initiative. Grabs also is certified in functional fitness gymnastics, power lifting and sport specific training. He has been doing functional fitness for six years and coaching for four years.
"Having a functional fitness team in national competitions gives the U.S. Army an opportunity to interact directly with the fittest people in the American population," Grabs said. "We are looking for dedicated, driven Soldiers. We want Soldiers who are looking for an opportunity to perform, develop and assist in the recruiting mission."
Grabs has been working at USAREC headquarters as part of the Commander's Initiative Group to develop a plan for the new outreach effort and begin recruiting Soldiers for the 10-member team.
"I have the utmost confidence in [Grabs] and the team he will be leading," Muth said. "I cannot wait to see the results."
Soldiers interested in applying should visit the U.S. Army Warrior Fitness webpage at https://recruiting.army.mil/functional_fitness. The deadline for applications is Dec. 14.
Soldiers identified as the most competitive will visit Fort Knox for a fitness evaluation and formal interview by the selection committee. Soldiers selected to the team will be stationed at Fort Knox for three years and, in addition to fitness competitions, will participate in outreach engagements and will regularly interact with the public as an Army ambassador.
The team is expected to begin competing on behalf of the U.S. Army by March 2019.