CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT –
Army Reserve Maj. Anthony Simms-Hall, theater mortuary officer for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Operational Command Post, dedicates much of his free time to assisting Soldiers with resiliency efforts, by sharing his personal passions and hobbies with deployed Soldiers.
His fitness career journey began as an instructor in 2015. He worked to bring functional fitness to Soldiers as he sees it as an avenue for Soldiers to improve their general fitness, while preparing 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 (ESC), 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 APFT is currently conducted as a diagnostic test and taken for record in FY 2022. Soldiers are steadily training up for the new test and Maj. Sims-Hall is helping Soldiers of the 1st TSC- OCP, ensure they are ready when they need to take it for record.
The functional fitness classes that Maj. 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 allow Soldiers to focus their energy on other tasks beyond those required by their jobs.
“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 the workouts, Sims-Hall found other ways to spark creativity and encourage resiliency among Soldiers. After an event early in the deployment, Soldiers were tie-dying shirts for an upcoming run, and Simms-Hall began using tie-dying as another way to spark some creativity, not only for himself but for others.
In keeping with practicing 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.”
“He makes the experience easy and fun by explaining his trial-and-error efforts and breaks down the process into easy-to-understand instructions,” she said.
Sims-Hall believes resiliency events are important to Soldiers, especially those in a deployed environment, because they provide opportunity out of the normal routine 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.”