Our community is very big—we are an Army—so, we are a family. These classes are going to bring you a fitness cohesion with people outside your unit, and essentially build camaraderie and new partnerships.”
Army 2nd Lt. Meagan M. O’Leary
It’s not uncommon to find soldiers continuously performing their own workout routines while deployed. The U.S. Army’s new Army Combat Fitness Test continues to serve as the fitness requirement for all Army components, and soldiers stationed overseas are doing everything they can to keep physical fitness standards in check across their formations.
Several soldiers will also go the extra mile to help others reach their health and fitness goals, turning fitness challenges into opportunities for achievement.
Photo By: Army 2nd Lt. Meagan O’Leary, Courtesy Photo
“My goal is to qualify for nationals when I get home,” she added. “I have had it in my mind to do more with the deployment than just my job. So, in addition to doing personal and professional development like taking online classes, I wanted to work on my skills and volunteer to give back.”
Since September, O’Leary runs one-hour weightlifting classes during her off-duty hours at the camp’s military-affiliated CrossFit gym. Every weekend you can find her instructing and motivating groups of participants to properly exercise compound movements with barbell weights. Every participant achieves a workout after practicing fundamentals of the snatch, clean and jerk, and clean and press component lifts. Class sizes vary each week, but she has managed to fill out the entire gym in several of her sessions.
Accompanying O’Leary as her assistant instructor during the weightlifting classes is Army Spc. Megan Caffey, CH-47 Chinook helicopter repairer assigned to the 449th Aviation Support Battalion, 36th CAB.
“I also did the same thing [2nd] Lt. O’Leary did when I arrived here day one—I wanted to be a coach,” said Caffey. “I have been able to coach and teach soldiers pretty much every single day, and I love it because I have actually had people thanking and showing me with ‘hey, you corrected me on my exercises, now I can lift 50 lbs. more than I have ever done before’—that has been very rewarding.”
Caffey serves in the Army Reserve back home, and since July, she volunteers as a functional fitness coach at Camp Buehring. She stands by …….