Top finishes at Wodapalooza bolster Army Warrior Fitness Team outreach at annual CrossFit spectacular

By CourtesyFebruary 8, 2022

Miami, Fla. - Army Warrior Fitness Team Soldiers scored personal bests, punctuated by a first-place finish in the Men’s Masters 40-44 category by Col. Tony Kurz, at this year’s 2022 Wodapalooza Competition in Miami Florida while providing information about the Army to a community of remarkably fit Americans.

Standing in Miami’s Bayfront Park near a Wodapalooza stage with the Army’s rolling fitness display semi, Army USAREC (United States Army Recruiting Command) Miami Recruiting Company Executive Officer 1st Lt. Gibran Cruz gave Warrior Fitness Team Soldiers high marks for their support. Back at Bayfront Park in 2022, after a year’s hiatus due to COVID, Wodapalooza is the biggest U.S. CrossFit event drawing thousands of competitors, exhibitors and fans.

“They’re definitely perfect for the type of event we’re doing now,” Cruz said of the Warrior Fitness Team Soldiers. “Their charisma and their ability to engage with the general public worked really well, allowing our Miami recruiters to reach people who are truly interested in the Army.”

A key attraction at this year’s event was the “Gauntlet,” sponsored by the U.S. Army. The Gauntlet forces competitors to conquer three different CrossFit exercises in a lane in an hour. Warrior Fitness Team top finishes included 1st Lt. Sydney Moskovitz who placed third in the Gauntlet’s RX Female Category. Moskovitz finished the competition with a smile on her face but said the competition was tough.

“You find a way to push through the gauntlet,” the Warrior Fitness Team member said. “It’s a mental and physical test. People train all year to compete here.”

Efforts by the Army Warrior Fitness Team to engage the public included more than competing at Wodapalooza. Soldiers also made school visits in the Miami area, talking to students about health, fitness and Army service.

The Warrior Fitness Team was formed two years ago as another tool to reach today’s America.

Featuring athletes including former team member Chandler Smith, Soldiers on the team have established themselves as national level competitors in CrossFit. With that comes respect and a camaraderie with athletes, families, coaches and other sponsors engaged in a “… lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition,” according to

Mom Angie Paian from Cincinnati, Ohio, was inspired to see the Army at Wodapalooza. Paian and daughter had attended a fitness ranch with then Lt. Col. Tony Kurz. So, seeing Kurz again at Wodapalooza kind of cemented Paian’s opinion of the Army.

“We were at the Pit Fitness Ranch and the Army was a big part of that,” Paian said. “That’s how important it is for the Army to be out here. A lot of people don’t know about the Army. And obviously you have to be fit to be in the Army.”

Beyond the competition stage, big wins occurred within the CrossFit community where the Army continued to gain support of athletes, sponsors and families, according to acting Mission Support Battalion commander Maj. George Fruth.

“Everything has been a partnership. It hasn’t been forced; it’s been very natural. Everyone has been inviting,” Fruth said. “I’ve had quite a few people come up to talk about that and learn more about that and our Army Warrior Fitness Team athletes.

“Instead of just being a brand or a vendor, we’re embedded in the community with the athletes and the coaches,” Fruth said. “They look for us when they come to these types of events because they know we have the best activations. “It’s not so much trying to get people to join on the spot. It’s a chance to share a message about what the Army has to offer.”

The Army Warrior Fitness Team is part of the U.S. Army Mission Support Battalion’s Recruiting Outreach Company. Connecting America to America’s Army, Warrior Fitness Team Soldiers join the Army eSports Team, As You Were Army Rock Band, and Army Outdoor Team, in comprising some of the Army’s newest outreach assets.