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Home | Tag Archives: us army

Tag Archives: us army

Iron Soldiers Pave the Way in Army Footwear

Every Soldier understands the importance of their feet to complete Army missions and rely on their boots to remain sturdy, comfortable and flexible, which is why the U.S. Army is completing a test to eventually issue new hot weather combat boots.

At the beginning of 2019, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) kicked off testing four different prototypes of Army hot weather combat boots to receive feedback from Soldiers and ultimately improve the issued combat boots, said Anita Perkins, the technical lead for the boot evaluation with NSRDEC.

Perkins went on to say that a Congressional survey showed “over half of the Soldiers who participated noted they purchased commercial boots once the initial entry phase was complete. That is how we knew that there was some needed improvements. This, then, became an opportunity for us to now take advantage of the current technology and manufacturing footwear industry processes.”

“We started off in a study that compiled the ten most liked boots, which then led us to the four prototypes that we have now,” said Jay McNamara, another footwear research engineer at NSRDEC. “They are meant to be more lightweight, flexible and comfortable. It’s meant to really improve a Soldier’s quality of life.”

Last week, NSRDEC gave out the prototyped boots to approximately 800 Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, to initiate a four-month long study with the Iron Soldiers.

“I understand why the Army chose the Iron Brigade to conduct this test,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael C. Williams, senior enlisted advisor to 2 ABCT. “Our Soldier’s mission is extremely diverse and will provide a wide array of feedback for the Army’s research and development of new combat boots. I’m glad we can help the Army figure this out while we train on combined arms maneuver. The tough, realistic training we are conducting in very rugged terrain and austere conditions will certainly give the Army plenty of data to facilitate the best decision being made. The deserts and mountains of Fort Bliss will test this equipment to the fullest and will ensure it is capable of meeting the needs of today’s Soldiers.”

With the training posture of 2 ABCT, NSRDEC hopes “to come back after four months to collect the data, which will then go on to make real improvements to the hot weather combat boots for all future Soldiers,” says McNamara.

This team has a personal tie with this mission to create a new way to maneuver- which is one of comfort.

“One of the best feelings I have is being able to see a Soldier put their foot in a boot and look at me wanting to hug me,” explained Perkins. “Just in the initial issuing of the boots, the Soldiers are giving great feedback; but, nothing’s official yet until we complete the entire study.”

Pfc. Austin Tryon, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, says, “I am definitely excited about the new boots that we may be getting. The old ones, even though they were the right size felt like they were too long. Well, the inside fit too tight, but the outsides were very big.”

Tryon goes on to say, “I had to purchase my own boots, but that was starting to get really expensive. This is definitely a step up as far as Army issued boots go.”

“A study like this goes to show that Soldier’s voices are being listened to and steps are being made to mitigate their grievances,” said Capt. Lucas Makens, an assistance planner with 2 ABCT. “As we move forward, we hope that Soldiers continue to speak out their opinion in these surveys to improve the future of the Army.”

Author: Staff Sgt. Felicia Jagdatt  – 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

Video+Gallery+Story: EPISD Strong – U.S. Army Challenge Tests Austin Students

The U.S. Army Challenge gave students at Austin a chance to bond over pushups, burpees and obstacle courses while testing their mental and physical prowess.

Hundreds of students formed teams of four to take on the challenge at the school’s gym.  They competed for bragging rights and some Army swag.

The challenge began with a fitness relay where each of the four-member took on 10 pushups, 10 sit ups, five burpees and 10 jumping jacks before heading off to more tactical challenges.

“They have to have some type of plan or objective to figure out how they’re going to accomplish their mission for that particular task,” said Anthony Dinkins, JROTC senior army instructor, who was instrumental in bringing the program to Austin.

“They will pick whoever is the best commander to lead them through a particular exercise based on the team members that they have and they decide how they want to attack obstacles.”

At the Strategy Tower, the students used their critical thinking skills to strategically maneuver pieces of the Lucas Tower-like puzzle before running to the Extraction challenge. This final challenge took kids through a series of rope obstacles, testing their teamwork, leadership and physical fitness skills. The goal was to complete all three stations in fewer than 90 seconds.

“It’s been an overall good learning experience,” senior Alexander Rice said. “You learn meet people in your class and you learn how to work together, how to use proper teamwork to complete your mission.”

Rice and junior Taylor Wood teamed up with students they didn’t know to complete the obstacles. After the first round through, they became more strategic and assigned tasks based on the strengths they saw on their team in the initial round.

“I really appreciate them coming out here and letting all the students do it,” she said. “It’s a lot of good experience because you get to learn teamwork and commitment and confidence. It really builds up their confidence and it makes them know, hey, I can actually do this or I’m not really good but maybe I can improve on this.”

The challenge also brought in recruiters from the army and university ROTC programs, Wood liked the fact that it united both Austin’s JROTC cadets with other students.

“I really appreciate them coming out here,” Wood said. “I hope the continue to do this and for other schools, too.”

Other obstacles the students took on included the Victory Wall, which required teams to figure the bet way to move across the wall using hand pegs and foot holds to get from one side to the other. Each of the pegs touched by team members get removed as they go across – further requiring some though and strategy. The students tested their upper body strength at the pull up bar.

“I honestly liked was that you were just put onto a random team,” said Wood, JROTC battalion commander at Austin. “You didn’t choose your best friends or your friends. You were just throw in it and you met and you’re just like, okay, ‘I’m good at pushups or I’m good at sit ups or I’m really good at burpees.’ It was a lot of fun because we got to bond and figure out who this person was and what their strengths and weaknesses were. It was a true bonding experience.”

The competition was held on Tuesday, October 9.

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy  |  Video by Angel Dominguez – EPISD

Video+Story: Prudential Honors Workplace Skills of Veterans; Announces El Paso Chihuahuas Sponsorship

Prudential Financial, Inc., honored the U.S. Army’s 242nd birthday by screening the premier of a short film celebrating the skills veterans and military spouses bring to the civilian workplace at the El Paso Chihuahua’s AAA Baseball Stadium.

The company also launched its sponsorship of the minor-league baseball team—a partnership that honors the military and local first responders.

The film highlights how several veterans transitioned from military life to begin working at Prudential’s technology center in El Paso, along with featuring spouses of active military service members who find it difficult to get or retain a job. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker and journalist Shawn Efran. was screened Wednesday night during pregame activities before the El Paso Chihuahuas and Tacoma Rainiers took the field.

One veteran featured in the film, Shelton Kelley, a manager at Prudential, threw the first pitch. Speaking after the game, Kelley said, “Not many people leave the military and find a career. I’m blessed to say I’ve found one at Prudential, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to share my story and let people know about the challenges facing veterans.”

Prudential, which has a long history with the military, commissioned the film to highlight the unique skills and talents veterans and military spouses bring to the workplace, and to encourage others to include veterans in their hiring plans. With nearly one million unemployed military veterans in the United States, Prudential focuses on creating meaningful careers for veterans and their spouses, in part through education and job training partnerships with national organizations like Workforce Opportunity Services.

Through WOS’ VETalent program, veterans gain professional skills and exposure to corporate work environments, while earning an academic certificate from a local university.

“Helping veterans achieve their full potential in the workforce is more than just a good thing to do; it’s a smart talent strategy,” said Chuck Sevola, head of the Veterans Initiatives Office at Prudential. “As you can see from the veterans featured in the film, these are highly talented individuals. We’re really proud that almost half of our employees in El Paso are veterans or spouses of active duty service members.”

Prudential’s sponsorship of El Paso’s minor league baseball team also honors active duty military, veterans and their families. As the exclusive financial services sponsor, Prudential will be the presenting partner of “Military Mondays,” as the Chihuahuas host special tributes to the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Prudential will also be the presenting partner of “Thank You Thursdays” during the 2017 season, which honors men and women of the Armed Forces, as well as first responders.

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