FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (May 6, 2022) -- This year’s Army trials features Soldier-athletes who never participated in the competition before. After a day of in-processing, the Soldiers were more than ready to start competing. The raucous noise in the Hercules Physical Fitness Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, during the rowing event on May 4, 2022, shows the participants are geared up for the challenge.
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Cruz, Hawaii Soldier Readiness Unit, experienced his first time on the rowing machine at the trials. “I came out here and challenged myself,” he said.
U.S. Army active duty Soldier-athletes are competing in the U.S. Army Trials at Fort Bragg for the very first time. The Army Recovery Care Program is hosting approximately 40 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who compete in a series of athletic events including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, powerlifting, track, field, rowing, and wheelchair basketball.
Cruz said he didn’t train for the rowing event before coming to Fort Bragg, but he is determined to embrace it. “I never set foot on this thing (rowing machine),” he confessed. Determined to master the machine, Cruz said, “Once I can use more than my upper body and can use my legs and my back, that’s where I’m injured; but I got to get used to that stationary machine.”
Recover and Overcome is the mantra for ARCP that is instilled in Soldiers assigned to 14 SRUs. U.S. Army Spc. Joshua Justice, Fort Stewart SRU, came to the trials and is bringing that attitude during the first day of competition.
“I definitely need to learn how to pace myself better,” he explained. Justice, in only his second time in the ‘row chair,’ sees the value of patience and perseverance. “Once you start rowing and when you go to pull again and it’s (cable) loose, you got to get into a rhythm. I need to learn how to get in that rhythm.”
According to Justice, upper and lower body power is not a problem for him in the rowing event. “I got strength all day,” Justice said. “Cardio! That is what I’ve got to work on.”
Army Trials showcases the resiliency of Soldiers, the healing power of adaptive sports, and is a preview for what these athletes will see at the DoD Warrior Games if selected to Team Army. These athletes are a testament to the Soldier ethos, and a living example of the Army Values.
The Army holds qualifying trials for active duty Soldiers and veterans to assess and select athletes for competition in the DoD Warrior Games. This year, active duty athletes compete in person at the Army Trials to be assessed for selection, while veterans compete virtually and submit their results to the ARCP for assessment and Team Army selection. This year, the DoD Warrior Games takes place in Orlando, Florida, August 16 – 29, 2022.
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