First Army goes back to basics to prepare for the ACFT

By Sgt. Aaron BeroganDecember 6, 2019

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1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims, Command Sergeant Major, First Army, practices his lifting technique to help prevent any injury that could be caused by different exercises from the Army Combat Fitness Test. Soldiers from First Army are taking a workshop ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers of First Army practice lifting techniques and proper lifting posture at Foundation in East Moline, Illinois. The workshop is being instructed to give Soldiers a better understanding of common mistakes people make during the Army Combat Fitne... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brandon Bartz, Co-Owner of Foundation in East Moline, Illinois, observes Soldiers of First Army practicing their technique that will be used during the standing power throw of the Army Combat Fitness test. Bartz said often Soldiers will bend their kn... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Josiah Lorentzen and Brandon Bartz, Owners of Foundation, in East Moline, Illinois, demonstrate the proper dead lift technique to First Army Soldiers. Lorentzen and Bartz spent the morning instructing First Army Soldiers on proper techniques and comm... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

EAST MOLINE, Ill. -- The upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test is intended to improve Soldier readiness, transform the Army's fitness culture, reduce preventable injuries, and enhance mental toughness and stamina.

But the new test leaves one question: How do Soldiers train safely?

First Sgt. Daniel Ramirez, the first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, First Army, answered this question for his Soldiers by partnering with a local functional fitness gym. He and fifteen other Soldiers of the Detachment recently attended a four-day, in-depth class at Foundation in East Moline, Illinois on proper techniques for lifting, squatting, and other exercises essential to safe completion of the ACFT. The goal of the workshop was to "Train the Trainer," enabling First Army personnel to be subject-matter experts in advising their teammates on safe and efficient methods of exercise.

"We want to get everyone on the same page technique-wise so we can prevent injuries," said Ramirez. The Foundation coaches, Ramirez said, were ideal instructors, due to their knowledge and experience.

Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims, Command Sgt. Maj. First Army, also attended the training. He agreed with the idea of partnering with fitness professionals to learn the fundamentals.

"It's crucial to have a better understanding of what we are asking our Soldiers to do," explained Sims. "By working with professionals in this, it's only going to build our knowledge base when we go back and train the rest of the team."

Brandon Bartz and Josiah Lorentzen, owners of the Foundation, instructed the Soldiers in the proper exercise techniques.

"We just want to help the Soldiers get ready for the new test," explained Bartz. "We just want all of you to be able to train effectively and safely."

In addition to developing First Army's philosophy as a team of Fit Army Professionals and preparing for the fitness test, the event also strengthened ties to the local community and the Rock Island Arsenal.

"It's awesome to work these Soldiers, said Lorentzen. "They are close to home, so we love getting to work with them whenever we can."

The Army Combat Fitness Test becomes an official for record test staring in October of 2020.

Related Links:

Army Combat Fitness Test Worldwide News