Fort Jackson, SC – A rash of incidents between civilians and soldiers has the Army close to finalizing the implementation of a new PT program. Ft. Riley, Ft. Hood, Ft. Jackson, Ft. Bliss, Ft. Carson, and Ft. Knox have all seen a massive increase in soldier/civilian incidents and blotter reports. After careful analysis, they have discovered the issue. In 91.8% of the incidents, the soldiers involved were either highly trained in or experts in PRT (Physical Readiness Training). PRT gets soldiers in physical shape for the rigors of combat, prior to deployment. The Army PRT program has made soldiers, borderline, lethal.
There is always a little bit of tension between the civilian populous, and soldiers, in cities that are near military bases. The Army recognizes this. Soldiers involved in PRT are also very recognizable to civilians. The thick necks, barrel chest, broad shoulders, bulging biceps, and steely eyes make them stand out like a sore thumb. This can cause some resentment from civilians towards soldiers who come into establishments and drink too much, get too loud, are too brash with the local females, and inevitably, destroy property.
The Army realizes that during a time of prolonged combat and a high deployment pace, PRT is a godsend for the soldiers who participate. But with a drawdown of forces, slowed deployment schedule, and rules of engagement that pretty much have soldier’s hands off, they realize their PT must be tailored as such. They want soldiers to be less conspicuous, less confrontational, and more appealing to the general civilian population. The militaries top brass has noticed a fitness trend that has caught favorable fanfare with the entire demographic, in every age range – The Dad Bod. The dad bod tends to be a fitness look where the individual looks skinny/fit, not overly muscular, non-threatening, and a hint of a gut. It’s pretty much a non-eye catching body type.
The Army has established a plan to help soldiers achieve this in 66 days. DBfit, or Dad Bod Fitness Indoctrination Training, will help the Army achieve their less threatening goal. Units will be put on a rotating schedule. When a unit’s time has arrived, their 66-day DBfit program begins. During Phase 1, the unit will conduct 40 hours of power point slideshow training. During that time, the chow hall will be open once a day, at 2 pm to ensure a slowing of the metabolism. In addition, all gyms on post will only be open during lunch and evening hours. Beverages will be limited to Gatorade, and whatever energy drinks the soldier wants. The soldier will also receive a craft beer allotment of $55.00 a month. The Army is able to implement this, due to the reduced operating hours of the gyms and chow halls. Following the introductory week, the unit immediately takes 21 days of block leave. When the soldier signs out on leave, he/she is also issued a 21-day soft shoe profile.
Phase 2 begins when the soldier returns from leave. Upon returning to the unit, PT is conducted. Slow, squad level sized jogs will be conducted at a 10-minute pace, or roughly the equivalent to the pace of a dad pushing a stroller. Crunches will follow. There is no minimum of crunches, just a maximum of 50 repetitions. The BowFlex will be added in most gyms and available during operating hours. This phase lasts 30 days. Training legs is strictly prohibited. There will be no ‘big chest’ or ‘guns’ days, as those do not fall in line with the desired look and outcome of DBfit.
Phase 3 is the recovery phase. During that week the soldier conducts what is essentially a repeat of Phase 1. Only, in this phase, the Power Point slide presentations are more focused on the after action review format. At the end of the week, the unit takes a 3-day weekend to complete the 66-day program. Soldiers will be tested on their ability to run a 10-minute mile, plus or minus 15 seconds, and crunches. Again, there is no minimum, just a maximum. Soldiers who fail to meet the DBfit standards or body measurements will be placed on an additional 30-day program.
The Army is hoping that it will relieve tensions and improve relations between soldiers and their civilian communities. The Army is still debating on the acceptable incident percentage between civilians and soldiers, as some conflicts and quarrels are inevitable. They are hoping for a downward swing of 20-30% in soldier/civilian incidents the first year, and a 35-40% the following year. Unless fitness trends change, Army officials are hoping to implement DBfit by late fiscal year 2016.