Twenty-five competitors from across Joint Base Lewis-McChord attended a special competition hosted by the 7th Infantry Division’s Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program March 2 at the Bayonet Academy on JBLM.
The Brostrom, named after Pfc. Leonard Carl Brostrom, a Medal of Honor recipient, challenged the competitors to back squat their body weight on a continuous clock: one squat, during the first minute, two, during the second and so on until the athlete can no longer keep up with the clock.
Sergeant Aaron Apolinario, 2nd Infantry Division Artillery, won the competition with more than 84 repetitions in under 15 minutes.
Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program instructors and coaches were on-hand to grade each properly-executed repetition and to ensure the athletes were doing them to standard.
“The (Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program) cadre know what they’re doing, said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Graves, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division command sergeant major. “They know what the proper form is and what right looks like to prevent injuries.”
The Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program’s number one priority is to strengthen Soldier, civilian and family fitness. These special competitions are just the catalyst for the broader scope of Task Force Bayonet’s program.
According to recent national stories, about only 29 percent of males in the United States, from the ages of 17 to 24, are physically eligible to enlist in the Army. More than 100,000 Soldiers are physically nondeployable.
Because of that, the Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program has a two-part initiative. The first part is educating all physical readiness leaders on the aspects of personal fitness, to include proper execution of exercise, proper nutrition and proper recovery. The second is implementing a comprehensive fitness program for Soldiers across Joint Base Lewis-McChord that also educates healthy lifestyle choices and ensures progression, fitness and readiness.
“We want to build a foundation of fitness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Helton, 7th Infantry Division command sergeant major. “We want our Soldiers to not only have the spirit of competition, but also to promote a culture of health and wellness.”
Helton also wants the athletes to carry the culture back to their units.
The Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program provides training for service members to become certified instructors for their respective units. Soldiers who score at least 265 on the Army Physical Fitness Test qualify to take the instructor course through the division’s Bayonet Academy.
Once certified, Bayonet Warrior Athletic Program instructors are qualified to teach functional fitness to the 15,000 Soldiers throughout the division.