Physical Fitness
Physical Fitness
40" x 30"
Oil on Canvas

Fort Ord, California – August, 1966
"A" Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade
Platoon Sergeant Walter Franke, East Grand Forks, Minnesota

A soldier's physical conditioning begins as soon as he enters the Army.
He walks and runs where he used to drive.Daily calisthenics, workouts on the
obstacle course, crawling under barbed wire, throwing hand grenades, digging foxholes,
marching with field packs, exercise in hand-to-hand combat and bayonet practice
develop hard muscles from the civilian softness.Formerly lean youths gain weight,
while flabby ones become streamlined and muscular.

It is said that when young men finish Army training, they are in better
physical condition than they have ever been,or may ever be again.

The Run, Dodge and Jump Course is one of five events in the Combat Proficiency Training Course.
It is a new exercise designed to test the agility of individuals.  When a soldier in battle runs over
uneven terrain and dodges ground bursts, he does not run in a straight line. He must be
practiced in running, dodging,and jumping as the situation requires. In recognition of the
basic principle of training,that men in combat do exactly what they were in the habit of doing
in training,this course was developed to strengthen the responses and coordination
necessary for survival in combat.

The course consists of double rows of barriers separated by a ditch ringed with sandbags.
Trainees are timed and rated on their performances.The better coordinated individuals,
of course, find it easier to do well and in good time.

The men in the painting PHYSICAL FITNESS are running for record.
They are being timed by Platoon Sergeant Walter Franke, a Senior Drill Instructor.

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