Yesterday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to be the only photographer for a civilian media outlet on hand for a closed demonstration of the U.S. Army’s newly revised fitness tests for soldiers. Back in the days of print, I would wake up and head to the news stand to get a copy of whatever publication I shot for. These days all I have to do is open my Google Alerts, and I’m instantly notified of every publication in the world who used my images online. After more than a decade of seeing my images in print its still a pretty good rush when you open up your alerts and see double digits in the results.
Here are a few of the outlets from Seattle on the west coast to NYC on the east coast that published my images last night.
For those interested, and not inclined to read the full story by my AP colleague Susanne Schafer, here’s the caption version. The new set of standards now includes two separate fitness tests, one which resembles the PT tests of the past 30-years which includes pushups and a 1.5 mile run, while adding new elements like wind sprints, long jump, and a hybrid sit-up/leg lift called the rower. The new test requires soldiers to don full battle gear and take on a 400-yard run, then immediately complete an obstacle course that involves balance, agility and strength. The latter of the two tests seemed more like an agility drill from the NFL combine, rather than an Army fitness test. This all made sense when I spoke with Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who oversees all training in the U.S. Army. Hertling said that the goal for these exercises, along with new nutrition guidelines is to bring today’s soldiers up to the level of elite athletes.