Sergeant brings out best in himself, others

Pvt. John Hudspeth
21st Theater Support Command

Master Sgt. William Armstrong is an addict and his habit has earned him three duffle bags full of awards and commendations.
This self-described physical training addict has never scored less than perfect, 300 points, on a record Army Physical Fitness Test in his 23-year military career.
“PT is addictive. I don’t get ‘high’ while doing PT, but doing PT well has so many rewards,” said Sergeant Armstrong, the 21st Theater Support Command’s G-4 Transportation noncommissioned officer in charge. “Besides the recognition, PT helps me fight stress. And good PT keeps me active, and my self worth high. It helps me be a better mentor and leader because it’s easier to be recognized as a good role model when you’re fit.”
A record APFT, also known as the PT test, is taken every six months. The maximum for each event is 100 points. The push up, the sit up and the two-mile run are the three graded events. A 300 on a record APFT is something many Soldiers aspire for. Soldiers who go beyond that maximum in each event can then be graded on the extended PT scale. Sergeant Armstrong’s highest record score of his military career was 354. His lowest score of 298 came from a diagnostic test given after a six-month deployment during Operation Desert Storm, he said. Sergeant Armstrong continues to push fitness.
“There is little question that Sergeant Arm-strong has set the standard and is a fine role model; a Soldier’s Soldier,” said 1st Sgt. Vincent Williams, the First Sergeant of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Troop Support Battal-ion, 21st TSC.
“Members of a physically fit unit can more easily adapt to changes in their mission – early mornings, late nights – essentially; ‘fit to fight’ as the old motto says,” said Sergeant Armstrong.
While serving as a first sergeant for 15th Movement Control Team, 27th Trans Bn., 3rd Corps Support Command, V Corps, Sergeant Armstrong developed a physical-training program that enabled his unit to achieve an average score of 259 on the test — the highest average in his battalion — with 27 percent of his unit qualifying for the Vth Corps 300 Club. But recognition was not why Sergeant Armstrong pushed and motivated his Soldiers to excel. He credits PT with helping himself and his Soldiers deal with stress and said that good PT that yields visible results keeps unit morale high.
Even after Sergeant Armstrong retires from the Army in March, physical fitness will continue to be a large part of his life.