Program helping more Soldiers return to BCT
By Chris Rasmussen/The Leader
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (TRADOC News Service, June 8, 2007) -- Soldiers injured during Basic Combat Training are returning to duty at a faster rate because of an improved rehabilitation program at the Fitness Training Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception).
The Warrior Training and Rehabilitation Program, which got under way in January, is returning Soldiers to duty at an 80 percent to 85 percent rate compared to the previous 60 percent to 65 percent rate.
The new program is a modification of the former Physical Training and Rehabilitation Program.
“We streamlined the program from three phases to two with the hope that Soldiers could return to training sooner,” said Capt. Rich Moravec, Fitness Training Company commander.
“In fact, since we implemented the Warrior Training and Rehabilitation Program, we have shaved two to four weeks off the average length of stay for Soldiers in training.”
Now instead of only focusing on cardiovascular and resistance training exercises, the new program introduces Soldiers to the type of training they would be doing if they were still with their BCT unit. This is called the Standardized Physical Training program.
“By the time they are ready to go back to Basic Combat Training, the Soldiers have already been doing essentially the same physical training events they will conduct at BCT, so hopefully, there is less chance of being re-injured,” Moravec said.
During the first phase of the new program, Soldiers spend time healing and doing low-impact cardiovascular exercises and resistance training.
Once their injuries are healed they begin the second phase, which returns them to the type of physical training and other activities they perform in BCT, such as EST 2000, BCT classes, military movement drills and conditioning drills.
Pvt. Michelle Stokes, 20, of Jacksonville, Ark., said the new program has gotten her back into better shape than before she fractured her foot.
“At first I didn’t want to be here,” she said. “But now I am glad I got to come here because I feel I am more prepared for Basic (Combat Training) than I was when I went to reception.”
Stokes, who returns to BCT next week, was also able to improve her Physical Training test score by 106 points during her times at the Fitness Training Company.
“The great thing about this is they let you use the weight room whenever you want,” she said. “If you have a broken arm you can still work on your legs and if you have a broken foot, you can work on your upper-body strength.”
The Fitness Training Company is staffed full-time by a physical therapist and physical therapy assistant, in addition to a part-time occupational therapist and assistant from Moncrief Army Community Hospital. FTC also has two resistance training rooms.
“We have received incredible support from the post,” said Moravec, also a licensed physical therapist. “Just this week we have been given $56,000 in new strength training equipment.”
The new program, which was a collaborative effort among the Army Physical Fitness School, U.S. Army Accessions Command, MEDDAC and input from Moravec, is a pilot program the Army hopes to implement at all five Basic Combat Training installations.
The program has also garnered attention with visits from the Australian Army, the U.S. Air Force and Fitness Training Company commanders from Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Sill, Okla. “We are getting injured Soldiers in training back into the shape they need to be in to successfully return to Basic Combat Training,” Moravec said.