By Sgt. James Geelen | 4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Growing up on the north side of Chicago, Spc. Alexandria M. Capeles, was torn between joining the Army and her desire to learn about how the human body worked. Her quest for knowledge led her to Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine.
While attending school, Capeles spent time working at Quest Multisport, a gym in Chicago where professional athletes train.
“When I was working as a trainer in Chicago, I was able to attend the NBA’s (National Basketball Association) combine for … two years and get hands on (experience with athletes),” Capeles said. “I was able to work with the trainers and many different athletes. This helped me to learn from top-notch trainers and see how they help these athletes rehabilitate and get back to peak performance.”
Even though Capeles was living a life that many dream of, there was something still missing. So in August 2018, she volunteered for the Army and started a journey that has led to her becoming a wheeled vehicle mechanic for 115th Quartermaster Field Feeding Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. When Capeles isn’t turning wrenches, she’s using her knowledge as a trainer to help her fellow Soldiers pass their physical fitness tests.
“I’ve been leading our afternoon training sessions, trying to help some of the Soldiers that have been struggling to pass the physical fitness test,” Capeles said. “I love helping the other Soldiers. It’s great to see them improve their test scores and be able to guide them along as they work toward a healthier lifestyle.”
With her background as a personal trainer, many Soldiers don’t understand why Capeles chose to be a mechanic.
“My uncle is a mechanic, so I grew up kind of interested in being able to figure out how to fix my own car,” Capeles said. “I wanted to switch gears from studying the body so much; this helps me to take a break and learn another life skill.”
Her commitment to her fellow Soldiers has not gone unnoticed by her leaders.
“Capeles is a rising star in the Army, everyone loves to have a Soldier like her,” said Capt. Jerryl Randolph, commander, 115th FFC, 68th CSSB, 4th SB. “Her background as a personal trainer has directly impacted our headquarters platoon, in which she assists creating the physical training plan, and our afternoon session for the cooks who work morning shift in the dining facility.”
Capeles has set her sights on training other Soldiers in preparation for the implementation of the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT).
“She has also offered her own personal time to help Soldiers on proper form with weight training that will help them on the new test,” Randolph said. “Her knowledge on strength and weight training is helping our company prepare for the transition to the ACFT and thanks to her, we’ll be ready.”
Capeles supports the philosophy that every Soldier is an athlete and continues to study the human body during her free time.
“I’m still working (toward) getting my master’s degree in sports medicine,” Capeles said. “Eventually I would like to attend the master fitness trainer course, that’s my goal. Everything that surrounds fitness is what I’m after.”