CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Army Reserve Maj. Anthony Sims-Hall, theater mortuary officer for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Operational Command Post (1st TSC-OCP), dedicates much of his free time assisting other Soldiers’ resiliency efforts by sharing his personal passions and hobbies.
Sims-Hall has worked to bring functional fitness to Soldiers to improve their physical readiness and prepare them for the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT).
“Information on the ACFT was starting to come out and Soldiers had questions. I used my fitness background to help educate my battalion, to show them what the test looks like,” said Sims-Hall.
“When I moved over to the 310th [Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)] I spoke to several people who said ‘I don’t understand this exercise or that exercise,’ so I just started doing little workout programs to help people get stronger and prepare for the ACFT.”
The Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is being phased out in as the ACFT replaces it, but is currently conducted as a diagnostic test and taken for record in FY22. Soldiers are steadily training up for the new test and Sims-Hall is helping those in the 1st TSC-OCP ensure they are ready.
The functional fitness classes that Sims-Hall prepares each day take in to account the new ACFT and Soldiers’ fitness levels.
“Having a structured program already designed for soldiers to walk in, go through a workout, get a good workout, and then walk away — it’s less thinking and more doing, they aren’t thinking about work, they are thinking about getting the next five reps of this exercise completed,” he said.
The morning workouts have been a hit with Soldiers, who note benefits that have impacts on both their personal and professional lives.
“Working out with Maj. Sims-Hall is a big motivation for me,” said Capt. Sherelle Hulbert, support operations mobility officer for the 1st TSC-OCP. “Coming from a background of bodybuilding-type workouts, his workouts helped me with flexibility, range of motion, joint pain and mind-muscle connection with simple movements.”
“He conducted ACFT prep once a week while back at home station and continued once in theater,” she said. “His workouts were a huge help for me coming into theater, post-surgery and helped me maintain my physical fitness without injuring myself.”
In addition to physical fitness efforts, Sims-Hall found other ways to encourage resiliency and even spark creativity among Soldiers. After an event early in the deployment, Soldiers tie-dyed shirts for an upcoming run. Sims-Hall began using tie-dying as a way to increase morale.
In accordance with COVID-19 risk mitigation measures on Camp Arifjan, he believes tie-dying is a safe way to spend time with other people in the unit while maintaining social distancing.
“I love going to the tie-dye events with Maj. Sims-Hall because it breaks up the monotony of the work week with something fun to do, while resulting in something nice that you are able to keep,” said Sgt. Amber Perkins, SPO transportation noncommissioned officer with the 1st TSC-OCP.
Sims-Hall believes these events are important to Soldiers, especially in a deployed environment, because they provide an opportunity to relax and recover.
“My excitement comes from seeing others increase their morale spirit and know they have an option to do something that’s different,” said Sims-Hall. “For many people it’s outside their comfort zone to have that creative spirit, when they are used to having a controlled environment, people usually end up enjoying the process.”