ARLINGTON, Va. — No matter how far along someone gets in life, they can always reach for new goals. Task Force Phoenix at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Tacoma, Washington created a new scoreboard that is helping spur competition among Soldiers and boost interest for the upcoming Army Trials.
The recovery specialists at JBLM always keep records on file, but in December 2021 they decided to publicly display some individual progress. The idea began as a way to see accomplishments and to create friendly competition among the Soldiers. The board also displays some gym records, like the 225 lbs bench press repetition challenge.
“When the Soldiers come into the gym, they get a sense of themselves again from working out and setting goals,” said David Iuli, adaptive reconditioning program specialist at the SRU. “I’ve gone through the [recovery] program myself, and I can tell you, [Soldiers need] adaptive sports … because it helps you mentally.”
With the Army Trials for the Warrior Games soon approaching, the Soldiers in the SRU began training in January 2022. The scoreboard, which keeps track of records and is hung up in a public area at the SRU, helps motivate the individuals to sharpen their skills, since the Army Trials feature many of the same sports. Some of the most prominent sports on the board include archery, track and field, powerlifting and swimming.
Archery and powerlifting are two of the most popular sports and attract a lot of attention. “I kind of get to zone everything out and just focus on just hitting the target,” said Spc. Nicole Crane. “There’s a sense of serenity in it that I really like.”
The scoreboard encourages Soldiers to find adaptable solutions to meet their physical needs after every visit. Many participants begin with the idea that they can only perform a few moves, but the specialists are always quick to make everything as adaptable as possible for the Soldiers to reach their goals.
“If you look at it holistically, medical appointments are trying to take care of you medically, mentally, etcetera … but the gym is your own time, “ said Iuli. “It’s time to get your own grind on and in your own space. Everyone has different goals, whether it is to lose weight or gain strength. This is vital.”
When Soldiers come to an SRU, they are mostly focused on themselves. The scoreboard encourages them to reach new heights by seeing what others are accomplishing. In turn, participants who have made outstanding accomplishments receive the satisfaction of seeing their benchmarks in full view of the public.
The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Visit our website at https://arcp.army.mil