by Coach Leslie
Every Tuesday and Thursday night at 1830 (that's 6:30pm to most of us) a group of young men and women arrive at our gym for our Report Ready program.
Report Ready is our non-profit program that prepares men and women for military service. Report Ready is free for anyone enrolled in the US Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program or the US Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course.
In fact, we started this program at the request of our local Marine Corps recruiter Staff Sergeant Andrew Hoopi. He need assistance getting his poolies, people enrolled in the delayed entry program AKA recruit pool, into shape so they could pass the USMC Initial Fitness Test (IST) and have greater success at USMC Recruit Training. SSgt Hoopi was leading his poolies in physical training on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the mall where his recruiting office is located and was finding it increasingly difficult to come up with effective training sessions without equipment and a dedicated space to train.
He approached Coach Leslie in late March 2021 about a partnership. Could his poolies train at True Spirit CrossFit in exchange for cleaning the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Since Coach Leslie is a USMC veteran herself and has a mission to give back where she can to the Marine Corps, this was a win-win. However, TSCF did not have the staffing capacity to run a military prep course twice a week.
Coach Leslie was discussing the situation with Kim Pribanic, an OG TSCF member, who at the time was teaching an exercise physiology course at MSU and had an exceptional student who was enrolled in the USMC Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and perhaps he would be interested in training the poolies. That's how Coach Mattias became part of her TSCF coaching team. He and Coach Leslie met, decided he was the right person for this position, and within 2 weeks he completed his Level 1 CrossFt Training and began training the poolies.
Since Coach Mattias was in the PLC, the Officer version of the Delayed Entry Program, he invited the rest of his PLC group to join our program. Within a few weeks we had future officer and enlisted recruits training side by side.
A few weeks later Steve Rast, another OG TSCF member, introduced Coach Leslie to Micah. Micah is also a USMC veteran and a Tactical Fitness Instructor. A few days later Coach Micah became a member of our Report Ready coaching team.
In May, another USMC veteran joined our gym. Nick was transitioning from being a USMC Infantry Officer into a full time MSU Graduate student. He was already CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and so he became part of our Report Ready and TSCF coaching team.
Our Report Ready program is unique in that it is run by USMC veterans, Coach Nick was an officer and Coach Micah was enlisted, and a future military service member Coach Mattias. Coach Mattias will start his military service once he graduates from MSU.
Each Coach brings a special talent to the team. Coach Nick is a master planner and logistics coordinator and he plans all the sessions. Coach Micah is exceptionally creative and programs the training sessions to include mental fitness in addition to physical fitness. Coach Mattias is a terrific motivator and often works out with the group to encourage them to push a little harder.
Report Ready is also special in that it's the only program we know of where future officer candidates and enlisted recruits train side by side. They will be separated when they attend their respective Military training and indoctrination programs, and once they're in the USMC proper they will have to navigate a rank structure that can create an antagonistic relationship. Our Coaches work hard to create an environment of mutual respect which we feel will foster amity amongst these future Marines.
These mental and social lessons are an exceptional side benefit to a program whose main mission is to increase the strength and conditioning of the participants so they can pass the USMC IST and be physically prepared for Recruit Training and Officer Candidate School.
The USMC IST is as follows:
PULL UPS / PUSH UPS
The Report Ready participants take an IST at regular intervals to a track their progress. They also repeat specific workouts to encourage and motivate them. The expected outcome of our Report Ready program is that our participants will pass the IST, excel at the USMC Physical Fitness Test, be better physically prepared for basic training and complete basic training injury free.
As was mentioned at the beginning of this blog, our Report Ready program is a non-profit program. Our local Marine Corps League detachment (a service organization for USMC veterans) provided a modest grant to establish the program. However, we do not receive any funding from the US Marine Corps or US government to support Report Ready. True Spirit CrossFit donates the space, equipment, and operating expenses. The Report Ready Coaches donate their time. The Report Ready participants clean the gym after every session which is a high value trade.
The Report Ready program was recently featured in the October issue of Bozeman Life magazine. You can read it here.
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