Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Engineers set new standard

Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, right, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Joyce, acting senior enlisted adviser, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, pin an Army physical fitness test excellence streamer to the 544th Engineer Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion, guidon, July 19. The streamer was awarded for the 544th Eng. exceeding the commanding general’s standard of a company average of 250 points, with an 85 percent participation rate. The Soldiers scored an average of 279 with 87 percent participation, May 29.

Story and photo by Sgt. William Smith

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

The 544th Engineer Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion, received a division physical fitness excellence award streamer for exceeding the division’s standards on the Army physical fitness test, July 19.

To earn an APFT streamer, a unit must score an average of 250 points with no failures and an 85-percent participation rate, and be graded by the division’s designated graders. The 544th Eng. scored an average of 279 points, with an 87-percent participation rate, May 29.

“This is the first time in 10 years that a unit has met the (commanding general’s) challenge in (physical training),” said Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, who presented the streamer to the unit. “It is pretty impressive to have a unit score an average of 279, but don’t stop there. Continue to raise the bar for yourselves and Fort Carson.”

One engineer said that it was hard, but well worth the effort.

“It took a lot of heart and dedication from the Soldiers and the leadership to be able to achieve what we did,” said Staff Sgt. Trent Boyer, senior construction supervisor, 544th Eng., 52nd Eng. Bn. “Any noncommissioned officer will tell you that we could not have done this without the Soldiers. They came together, putting in a lot of hard work on their own, for us to be able to earn this.”

With the help of the company’s motivation behind Boyer, he said he achieved a score of 297 points, the best APFT in his military career.

“It made me feel good to do so well, and it helped to motivate my own Soldiers to push themselves that much more,” Boyer said.

1st Sgt. David Palmer, senior enlisted adviser, 544th Eng., said he knew his unit was up for the challenge.

“I have told people for a while that this was a goal of mine,” Palmer said. “Everybody put in the time and effort to make sure that they were the most fit they could be.”

Both Palmer and Boyer said any unit can earn the streamer if every person in a unit buys into it.

“To earn the streamer, you have to put into it,” Boyer said. “You have to strive to want it, have that heart and dedication, and give it all you’ve got. Motivate your battle buddies to do the best they can. Everybody in your company has to want it.”

Palmer said it isn’t difficult to earn.

“It is easy to earn the APFT streamer if the whole unit is on board,” he said.

Once the streamer is earned, the unit must revalidate every 12 months to keep it on their company guidon. Units awarded the streamer are authorized to conduct athletics once per week.

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