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Soldiers Workout

Soldiers in Iraq Get Stronger on Deployment

by Sgt. David Dasilma 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav., 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

COB ADDER, Iraq – When French duo, Daft Punk, wrote their 2001 smash-hit “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” they couldn’t have had Task Force Blackjack, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment in mind. After all, the war in Afghanistan was barely underway, let alone Operation Iraqi Freedom, but if the same song were to come out today, it could not be more appropriate.

The 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division is currently attached to the 1st Infantry Division as part of United States Division-South in southern Iraq.

During its current deployment, fitness has become contagious within TF Blackjack. While this shouldn’t be a surprise within an Army task force, the intensity with which Soldiers are training their bodies might be. Cross Fit, P90X, Insanity, and spin class have become regular workouts, along with old-fashioned weight training and long-distance running.

Among TF Blackjack Soldiers, fitness goals vary. Some Soldiers, like Warrant Officer John Boseman of Rock Mount, N.C., Muthanna project manager, work out to maintain their size and mass. Others, like Pfc. Michael Krowski of Milwaukee, an information management specialist, started their deployment workout regimen with a focus on weight loss.

Krowski has lost 40 pounds since arriving in Iraq. Krowski said his success has come by adopting a new lifestyle, not just controlling bad habits. “I think Soldiers fill the void of being away from friends and family with weight training,” Boseman said.. “Out here they get a chance at a new beginning. They don’t have the party life around to mess [their bodies] all up.”

Maj. Norberto Menendez also leads TF Blackjack staff officer workout sessions on Thursday mornings. Once a week, staff officers participate in innovative and extreme workouts during the first 30-minute block, followed by an hour-long game of Gatorball, a variation of Ultimate Football and Soccer. “The other day, Maj. Menendez had us doing 400 meters of lunges,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Wolfe, medical platoon leader.

Whether it’s P90X, Cross Fit, Insanity, or executive officer workouts, one fact remains constant: today’s TF Blackjack is most definitely harder, better, faster, stronger.

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