SWEAT a New Initiative for the Vermont National Guard
Sweating is what a group of Soldiers were doing as they completed their
diagnostic Army physical fitness test (APFT) as part of in-processing for the
SWEAT (Soldier Wellness Education and Training) program in Northfield Vt.,
May 16, 2016. This is a new training initiative for the Vermont Army National
Guard. SWEAT consists of several different physical fitness-training styles, as
well as, nutritional training for Soldiers that have struggled with weight and
passing the APFT. In addition, there will be several in depth classroom sessions
focusing on proper stretching, social media, and creating a realistic personal
exercise plan. They will also receive all 14 blocks of Master Resiliency Training
(MRT) training focused on helping Soldiers push past roadblocks that inhibit their
physical training (PT).
MRT will help the Soldiers identify and address some of the roadblocks that are
holding them back. For example, Soldiers will change their mindset from “I
cannot complete the two mile run,” to “I CAN do this." Creating goals and
exercise plans will help the Soldiers realize the impact that a good PT plan can
have on their health, shifting the thought process to the positive benefits of
exercise and how great they feel afterward.
“I have never talked to anyone in regards to nutrition, I am super excited to talk to
someone about it,” said Spc. Chelsea Delphia, administrative assistant,
Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion.
“Nutrition is more than half of this, how to eat, even purchase food is huge,” said
TSgt Travis Voyer, Biathlon Trainer. They will be taught which foods affect their
metabolism, assist in weight loss, and increase energy to support PT.
“Two weeks of doing nothing but PT is a great step to start on your path to
success. I am looking forward to the classroom portion more, to learn how to
make a PT plan,” said Spc Raymond Gratton, truck driver, 186th Brigade Special
While National Guard Soldiers only drill one weekend a month, they are
responsible for their own physical fitness training to maintain readiness between
monthly drills. SWEAT participants will be taught time management skills and
how to create a successful training plan that meets their fitness needs.
“We only get to see the Soldier two times a month to do PT so getting two weeks
to teach a soldier how to train their bodies is really unique.” said TSgt Travis
Voyer, biathlon trainer, Vermont Air National Guard.
While this is the first time the SWEAT program has been conducted in Vermont,
the cadre will use the after the after actions reviews to evaluate the program and
make changes for the next event. The organizers created this program from
scratch trying to meet the needs of the Soldiers in the Vermont Army National
Guard. Physical readiness is just as important as mental readiness to the
Vermont Army National Guard. Having Soldiers armed with these physical and
resiliency skills will enable them to lead those that may struggle in the future,
keeping their fellow Soldiers motivated and retainable. The Soldiers will be taking
away new life skills, which will increase their health and the readiness.
In two weeks, these Soldiers will be taking the APFT again to see the progress
they have made. To some, this may mean a passing PT test and their
height/weight screening. To others, the progress shown from two weeks of hard
work will be a motivator to keep on the path. Soldiers will be able to take this
information and share it with their units, training other Soldiers that might be
struggling. “I have 38 trainers that are going to go back to their unit and help out
the other soldiers in the organization. They will share and talk with other Soldiers
about what they learned,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Toby Quick, Vermont State