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“Ironhorse” Soldiers learn new physical training manual

FORT HOOD, Texas—Leaders of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are taking proactive measures to train Soldiers on the changes in the Army’s updated physical training program by holding a monthly, eight day “Building Soldier Athletes” Class, here.

After 10 years of revising the physical fitness manual, Field Manual 21-20, the Army published its new training program in Training Circular 3-22.20, Army Physical Readiness Training last March.

“The class educates [noncommissioned officers] from all the battalions,” said Capt. Leigh Anne Swafford, the brigades physical therapist. “It also enhances the knowledge and leadership as [physical readiness trainer] leaders and unit fitness trainers.”

Swafford is the first physical therapist assigned to the brigade. By 2011 all 1st Cav. Div. brigades will have a physical therapist assigned to them.

About 25 percent of Soldiers’ injuries are from unit [physical training], described Swafford. The new physical fitness manual is designed to help prevent injuries and consequently improve a unit’s readiness status.

“The class all seemed very enthusiastic and eager to learn the new techniques,” Swafford said about the attending Soldiers. 

The course consists of classroom lectures, hands-on-training and a final exam to earn their certificate. The lectures included a summary of the new TC, along with guest speakers, such as a dietician. 

“Physical training isn’t just working out, but what you put in your body,” said Swafford.
The hands-on-training consisted of warm-up and cool-down stretches, abdominal core exercises, aquatic exercises, agility and cardio exercises.

“I can’t wait to go back to my company and show what I have learned,” said Dallas native, Spc. Carlos Esquivel. “I believe that we will find it effective and useful.”

After the course the Soldiers will return to their units and train their troopers on what they have learned.

“The Soldiers seemed very excited to return to their Soldiers and teach them the new techniques taught in the BSA class. I am looking forward to seeing more of this PT out in the units,” Swafford concluded.

George N.