FORT HOOD, Texas- In order to successfully fight and win the nation’s wars, Soldiers train to remain physically fit. Keeping Soldiers trained and fit to fight is the mission of first sergeants and commanders, but they cannot do it alone.
Master fitness trainers are trained in all aspects of the Army’s physical readiness program which enables them to monitor unit and individual physical readiness programs, and advise command teams on physical readiness issues and improvement programs.
“Having MFTs embedded within a unit is invaluable,” said 1st Sgt. Terrance Porter, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. “The knowledge and experience they have understanding how muscles, joints and the skeletal system works is crucial in helping get our injured personnel back in the fight. MFTs are definitely a value added to any organization that they are a part of.”
Honolulu, Hawaii native and bridge crewmember, Sgt. 1st Class Aleta Berry, HHC, 13th ESC, has been in the Army for almost 17 years and found a true passion for fitness in 2007.
“I became interested in the world of fitness and wondered how they got so fit,” Berry said. “Once I deployed, I started training so I could be a better, more fit Soldier.”
Like she has her whole career, Berry used what she learned on her fitness journey to better those around her.
“I like to help others so I was happy to start sharing my knowledge of fitness with others,” Berry explained.
Up to that point, Berry used what she learned through self-study to help Soldiers, but she knew she could do more to help.
“I could help Soldiers lose weight but I wanted to be certified and learn even more,” Berry said.
In 2017, Berry was finally able to attend the Master Fitness Trainer Course.
The MFTC is an academic course with college-level content that focuses on the concepts of physical fitness and readiness to propel the Army to a more agile and ready force.
The course helped Berry shape her fitness expertise with precise elements to align with both unit physical readiness program goals and up-to-date Army doctrine and regulations.
Denver, Colorado native, Pfc. Alexander Becker, 13th ESC, was able to train with Berry last year, and is appreciative of her efforts.
“She is one of the best noncommissioned officers I’ve met,” Becker said. “She was patient with Soldiers and motivated us to train even when we didn’t want to. We knew we could rely on her and sometimes it’s just great to get that positivity.”
As an MFT, Berry has been able to help Soldiers reach their potential and meet Army physical fitness requirements, and it is something she still enjoys to this day.