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    1st BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: Bastogne Soldiers tackle Spartan Challenge

    1st BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: Bastogne Soldiers tackle Spartan Challenge

    Photo By Sgt. James Griffin | Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conduct a Spartan-style...... read more read more

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Under cloudy skies, approximately 90 leaders of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, gathered on the damp grass of a softball field next to Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw Physical Fitness Center Aug. 1 to participate in a new type of physical fitness challenge.

    The physical fitness challenge is the latest event in a growing partnership between Bastogne Soldiers and the staff of Spartan Race. The two teams have been working closely to build innovative and challenging physical fitness programs.

    “We are always looking for a way to improve our fitness,” said Col. Derek Thomson, 1st BCT commander. “We do it well, but we can always do it better.”

    The physical fitness challenge was not the first time the Spartan team had visited Fort Campbell.

    “When they came back in August they brought two things, the first draft of the new manual and sandbags,” said 1st Lt. Jake Waltrup, 1st BCT command group operations officer. “The grand concept is to have all 1st BCT Soldiers outside at one time doing PT with their body weight and a sandbag. It is a fitness program you can do anywhere at any time.”

    The implementation of the new program began with a discussion between the Spartan team and 1st BCT’s platoon leaders.

    The discussion introduced those leaders to the goal of the program as well as how to build a sustainable physical training program that minimizes injury and produces maximum results using minimal equipment.

    The two-day visit of the Spartan team concluded with an all-day physical fitness challenge that included 10 physically and mentally challenging events spread out over a 5-mile course, designed to expose 1st BCT senior leaders to the program’s practical applications.

    The all-day challenge began with warm-up exercises, led by Joe Desena, founder, and CEO of Spartan Race, and his team.

    The warm-up included yoga-like stretching and exercises that involved lifting, dragging and holding the heavy sandbags. To end the warm-up exercises, the participants ran two laps around the inside perimeter of the softball field while holding a sandbag in their arms.

    After the warm-up, the participants were divided into teams of nine to 10 Soldiers and escorted to a random starting station. Some of the stations included a Humvee-pull using only a rope and three team members, swimming across a cold creek, a wall that the team was required to climb over and assorted air assault obstacles.

    “First Brigade put together a challenging and fun course,” Desena said after completing the 5-mile challenge with his team.

    At the conclusion of the event,

    Bastogne has “access to some phenomenal tools” Thomson said.

    “We have got to continue to open our minds for physical fitness and how we do it,” he said. “We have to continue to push ourselves, make it harder, make it tougher. And this partnership with Spartan is one way we can continue to push the envelope in how we equip ourselves for the rigors of combat.”



    Date Taken: 08.09.2018
    Date Posted: 11.13.2018 12:12
    Story ID: 288862
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL , KY, US 

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