Making his way around the Raytown High School track, Pvt. Brandon Jones-Adams knocks out his two-mile run during his physical fitness test. As a new Guardsman, Jones-Adams had the best overall test score during a recent drill. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin/Missouri National Guard)
By Jennifer Archdekin
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In an effort to raise the physical fitness bar of new Kansas City area National Guardsmen, local leadership has stepped up and challenged its recruits.
On average 80 brand new Citizen-Soldiers drill each month in the Recruit Sustainment Program at the armory on Ozark Rd. in effort to ready the troops for basic training and to better prepare the Guardsmen before reporting to their permanent duty station.
Staff Sgt. Jennifer Job is the program coordinator and she said one of the major components focused on at basic training is the Soldiers' level of fitness.
"Every month we spend a lot of time preparing these recruits physically," said Job. "We are stepping it up and challenging the recruits to push themselves harder and further."
All Soldiers are tested on two minutes of sit-ups and push-ups, and a two-mile run. Job said they have standards they must meet at basic training, and throughout their military career. She said basic training can be a rude awakening for some who have not prepared themselves for the rigorous exercise that awaits them. It is her job to prepare these Soldiers and set them up for success, rather than failure.
"Physical fitness is a huge factor in your success during your military career," said Job. "We have taken an oath to become a Soldier, and with that, physical fitness must be a part of our lifestyle. Part of our overall mission is 'MAP' to success -- being mentally, administratively and physically fit."
The top scoring Citizen-Soldier for each of the five phases were recognized at a recent drill: Pvt. William Garrigus, of Sedalia; Pvt. Gerald Zeller, of Trimble; Pvt. Chase Reynolds, of Drexel; Spc. Dena Ketcher, of Grandview; and Pvt. Brandon Jones-Adams, of Blue Springs.
Jones-Adams garnered the overall best fitness score. He also recently returned from basic training where he was also recognized for being Honor Graduate.
"Being physically fit means a lot," said Jones-Adams. "It pushes you harder and faster than ever. Doing good on a PT test means I not only prepared myself physically, but also mentally. This test isn't just based off your physical limits, it's also based on how hard you will push yourself to get that extra push-up or sit-up. It makes all the difference in your score."
For Jones-Adams' accomplishments he received the Missouri Commendation Ribbon and the Physical Fitness Badge. He will now serve with the 311th Brigade Support Battalion based in Lexington.
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Pvt. Brandon Jones-Adams, of Blue Springs, was presented with an eagle statuette for earning the best overall physical fitness test at a recent National Guard drill in Kansas City. (Submitted Photo)
Making her way around the Raytown High School track, Spc. Dena Ketcher knocks out her two-mile run during her physical fitness test. As a new Guardsman, Ketcher had the best test score in her phase of training during a recent drill. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin/Missouri National Guard)
Spc. Dena Ketcher, of Grandview. (Submitted Photo)
While receiving encouragement from Sgt. 1st Class Jim Neighbors, a Kansas City area recruiter, Spc. Dena Ketcher does as many push-ups as she can in a two minute window while at the Raytown High School track. As a new Guardsman, Ketcher had the best test score in her phase of training during a recent drill. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin/Missouri National Guard)
Pvt. Chase Reynolds, of Drexel. (Submitted Photo)
Making his way around the Raytown High School track, Pvt. Chase Reynolds knocks out his two-mile run during his physical fitness test. As a new Guardsman, Reynolds had the best test score in his phase of training during a recent drill. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin/Missouri National Guard)