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NEWS | Aug. 15, 2016

CPTS leads the way in physical, professional fitness

By Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton 628th Air Base Wing

Airmen must be ready to deploy anywhere, at any time, for anything.

With an obesity rate five percent less than any other squadron and zero use of tobacco products, the 628th Comptroller Squadron is a prime example of a squadron ready to be called upon at a moment's notice.

"You've got to push and strain yourself to improve," said Maj. Samual Shimp, 628th CPTS commander. "If you aren't motivated and don't go the extra mile, you aren't going to be ready for the fight. Pushing ourselves and holding each other accountable makes us better and ready at all times."

Over the last two years, Shimp and his squadron have been challenging each other and competing to improve their physical and professional fitness.

"We've tried many things to improve our workout sessions," said Shimp, "From yoga and spin class, to doing CrossFit and a lot of running -- we try and do all we can to bring variety to our training."

As a result, the 628th CPTS Airmen have improved their PT test performance and how they interact in the office.

"The running and training and bonding we have done has improved the morale and how people act toward one another and towards their job in the office," said Staff Sgt. Zachary Woodard, 628th CPTS deputy disbursing officer. "One staff member used to barely pass the PT test. Now, he passes with flying colors and comes to every run session we have; even on his days off. Additionally, he has become much more active with everyone in the office."

Capitalizing on the squadron's competitive nature, members have done marathon runs on their own time as well as contributing extra time inside of the office.

"We have done two marathons so far," said Woodard, "The big one we did was the Myrtle Beach Run and we trained for eight weeks. In that time, we got up to doing about 12 miles per training session. We also will occasionally have someone with a whistle. When they blow it, we all get down and do push-ups for a certain amount of time."

Finding new ways to help improve one's health and wellness can be challenging so Shimp reached out for some extra help.

"About two years ago, I went to the Health and Wellness Center to see if they could give our squadron some tips and advice to help us improve," said Shimp, "We wanted to move away from just focusing on pounds lost, to measure how we compete."

Nikki Conley, HAWC health promotion coordinator, worked with much of the 628th CPTS to bring more knowledge and variety to their efforts to improve.

"It isn't often that a commander comes to us," said Conley, "But when Maj. Shimp came to us, we were ecstatic to try and help him and his squadron out. We gave them food and supplement tips, workout ideas and use of the "bod pod" which is a capsule that determines body fat percentage."

The HAWC is located at the fitness and sports center on base in Building 225 and is willing to help anyone working on their health and fitness. The HAWC will provide group classes and individual training programs Also, HAWC has a universal tool that can help just about anyone. Their hours of operations are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 963-4087 for more information.

With all the resources to help improve fitness and health, some of the civilians in the office asked to participate with the squadron, like Shelia Reed, 628th CPTS unit program coordinator.

"Out of her own pocket, Reed provides us a healthy snack after almost every morning PT," said Shimp, "We also had an informal weight loss competition in our office and one of our civilian workers actually won."

All of their hard work has paid off. The 628th CPTS's average obesity rate is now less than any other squadron on Joint Base Charleston - Air Base.

"You have to be ready for the fight," said Shimp, "But you have to do multiple things to get your body ready. I am tremendously proud of my Airmen and they are only continuing to improve and grow."