CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Sometimes, all we need is a little push in the right direction to get started.

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Coleman, 529th Support Battalion senior enlisted advisor, issued a 529th CSSB Army Physical Readiness Training (PRT) Challenge to any Soldier in Task Force Cavalier on June 26, 2019.. The 529th CSSB PRT Challenge provided Soldiers the opportunity to earn the PRT Badge and a Certificate of Achievement.

Physical readiness is the ability to meet the physical demands of any combat or duty position, accomplish the mission, and continue to fight and win. Soldier physical readiness is developed through the challenge of a precise, progressive, and integrated physical program.

"The Army's Physical Readiness Training system creates a daily opportunity to build the valuable soldiering skills of strength, power, speed, and agility required to help Soldiers meet their mission. PRT is rooted in established principles of exercise science designed to build the Soldier Athlete and includes training activities that directly support war-fighting tasks within the full spectrum of operations. As a result, the program is essential to individual, unit, and force readiness." - Field Manual 7-22, Army Physical Readiness Training

Task Force Cavalier had over 30 Soldiers accept the CSM's PRT Challenge by meeting the standards to receive the Army PRT badge. They had to take an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) while in a deployed environment, obtain a 70% score in each event category, and comply with height and weight standards.

The APFT is designed to test the muscular strength, endurance, and cardiovascular respiratory fitness of Soldiers. Soldiers are scored based on their performance in three events consisting of the pushup, situp, and a two-mile run, ranging from 0 to 100 points in each event.

The 529th CSSB PRT Challenge awards ceremony was held August 17, 2019, at the end of the 529th Support Battalion, Camp Taji, Iraq, Formation Run. The battalion run was a great prerequisite to the ceremony as it attributed to unit morale and Esprit de Corps.

This challenge falls in line with one of the 529th Battalion Command Team's "top three opportunities" for Soldiers while deployed. The 'top three' challenges Soldiers to invest in financial, educational, and physical fitness improvement. Each Soldier has the opportunity to walk away from this 2018-2019 deployment, richer, stronger, and wiser ... But the ultimate decision must be made and be committed to by each Soldier willing to accept the challenge. "Though not all Soldiers belonging to the battalion earned the badge it was recognized that a majority of the Soldiers were adhering to the opportunity to improve all three areas," explained Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Coleman.

All service members should strive and make maximum effort to maintain a level of optimal physical performance but that is not the only reason to be physically fit. Studies have shown that physically well individuals have more self-esteem, better emotional health, and tend to get sick less- not to mention, they are able to weather the physical strain of being in the military. Also one of the "top three" areas include strength ... Being strong is only part of it - physical wellness includes but is not limited to flexibility, nutrition, medical self-care, and the right amount of physical activity to encourage optimal health.

Proper motivation and physical maintenance is crucial to physical fitness and physical wellness success.