Fort Drum soldier is first in nation to get perfect score on Army fitness test

wwny Fort Drum soldier is first in nation to get perfect score on Army fitness test

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Fort Drum man is the first soldier in the nation to get a perfect score on an Army fitness test.

Specialist Juan Gonzalez loves exercising and now that passion brought him a national record.

The U.S. Army has been implementing a new fitness test and as of last Monday, Gonzalez said, "I'm the first enlisted soldier to get that perfect score."

Yes, he's the first Army soldier in the entire nation.

The Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, is made up of challenges like deadlifts, a power toss, pushups and a sprint and drag relay.

Not only was Gonzalez the first enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army to max out the test, over the following seven days, seven other 10th Mountain Division soldiers did as well.

"It just goes to show how hard of work that their soldiers put in to be a better soldier every day," said Gonzalez

The soldiers attribute their perfect scores to the pilot Holistic Health and Fitness Program Fort Drum offers.

"We're at Fort Drum, privileged to have the Holistic Health and Fitness Program, which is a new program to the Army, which puts strength coaches, registered dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers at the soldiers' disposal in order to train for the ACFT," said Captain Derek Anderson, nutritionist.

But the test isn't just for bragging rights; all of the skills tested are relative to skills needed in combat.

"It's important; we're getting ready for deployment so we want to make sure our soldiers are ready for the heat out there, any of the tasks that are coming, and important to the Army as well. We want to continue to reduce injuries and make better soldiers," said Jason Ralya, lead strength conditioning coach.

"You always gotta be combat ready. They always say that if we're 10th Mountain Division, we're always ready to deploy, so as a soldier, you need to be physically ready for that all the time, so it just goes to show that we're always ready," Gonzalez said.

The 10th Mountain Division wants to present its results to Congress as proof that their pilot holistic health program works so other military divisions can follow the lead and train stronger soldiers.

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