By Michele Brisco and Joel Polarek

Cadets in 7th Regiment, Advanced Camp take the Army Physical Fitness Test, July 7 at Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo by Michele Brisco)

At 5:30 a.m, most college students roll over in a warm bed, drooling on their pillow. For Cadets in 7th Regiment, Advanced Camp, 5:30 a.m. means it’s time for their APFT – Army Physical Fitness Test.

Cadets must pass benchmarks for push-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run.
“It takes a lot of preparation, especially since we’ve had a few days of just eating MREs, as well as not really having an opportunity to work out.” Cadet Christopher Pirrie from the University of Tampa shared. “Just know that your score might drop a little bit due to that.”
Cadet Teresita Reyes from University of Texas at Arlington focused on her own ability over what the Army expected of her.
“When you have a personal standard, you have to get to your personal standard, regardless of what the Army standard is,” Reyes said. “Your personal standard needs to be higher than that.”

Advanced Camp Cadet pushes himself through another sit-up. (Photo by Michele Brisco)

It might sound crazy to go through Advanced Camp with college students who are just beginning their military careers; however, with a background in personal training and 10 years prior enlisted service, this is only the next step towards one of her long-term goals. 

“I always wanted to be an Officer, but I enlisted first. I got out of active duty… and moved to Arlington because [my husband] was a recruiter.
He was like, ‘Hey, do you want to become an officer?’
I’m like, ‘I’m not too old?’
He goes, ‘No. We can get waivers.’”

Cadet Teresita Reyes from University of Texas at Arlington focuses on form through her push-up test. (Photo by Michele Brisco)

However, a waiver is not a free ride to aim for less than excellence.

“You just have to keep training beforehand—don’t take the vacation in summer and just train, because if you [don’t train], you’re just going to get lazy,” Reyes advised.
She instilled that work ethic in her children.
“My daughter does push-ups. My 4-year-old can actually do 10 right now, but she has to go to her knees after the first three,” Reyes laughed.