By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
With van headlights illuminating the dewy grass of the training field, Leader’s Training Course Cadets in Alpha Company got their first taste of the Army’s physical fitness test Saturday — one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups and a one-mile run.
The training was a 1-1-1 assessment, which equals half of the actual Army physical fitness test. To graduate from the course, Cadets have to pass the full test with a minimum score of 50 in each activity.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought, however, I could have pushed myself harder,” said Cadet Denesha Wigfall of Virginia State University. “I’m going to try to train as much as I can before the actual graded PT test.”
Alpha Company’s abbreviated test allowed cadre to pinpoint the physical fitness of Cadets, from which they can develop a tailored physical training program to take Cadets from where they are now to as close to the Army standard before the end of their 29 days at LTC.
The test might not sound like much, but the strength and endurance needed to pass the Army’s physical fitness test is necessary to the Army lifestyle, said Lt. Col. Rich Spainhour, company tactical officer for Alpha Company.
“The purpose of the Army is to fight and win the nation’s wars,” Spainhour said. “That means that every occupational specialty has got to be prepared to destroy the enemy in close combat. So, we have to be physically fit in order to accomplish our ultimate mission.”
The training targeted upper and core body strength and endurance and cardiovascular endurance, which prove beneficial in other aspects of LTC’s activities, said Sgt. Jaimi Perry, an Alpha Company trainer.
“Doing the high ropes obstacle course requires you to have some type of upper-body strength,” Perry said. “Some Cadets lack upper-body strength, so by doing the physical fitness exercises, it helps them build the upper-body strength they need to succeed in events like that. There’s a wide range of different exercises, both strength and endurance exercises.”
Preparation prior to arriving on Fort Knox helped many Cadets during their first PT experience at the course.
“I worked out and did more push-ups to prepare,” said Cadet Jay Showvaker of Shippensburg University. “My hardest event is always push-ups.”
Cadets participating in the course will take an actual PT test twice during their 29 days at Fort Knox, Spainhour said. If Cadets wish to be in the running for a military scholarship upon return to their university, a score of at least 60 in each event is required.
The first test is about two weeks into training. Spainhour said the record test, the one for which the results are actually recorded and sent out to Cadets’ schools, will be July 3 for Alpha Company.
“I definitely know during my downtime, I will be working out,” Wigfall said. “I’ll try to work out as best as I can, as much as I can and as often as I can.”