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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The senior enlisted soldier in South Korea tackled the issue of physical training in the latest issue of “ROK Steady,” 8th Army’s monthly magazine.

Command Sgt. Maj. Barry Wheeler addressed proper uniform wear and defined physical training in a column.

Servicemembers should be in “their service’s physical fitness uniform” during organized training from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., whether they’re on leave, a pass, temporary duty or on another status, according to Wheeler.

“When performing PT at other times of the day they get a vote but not during organized PT periods,” he wrote of wearing the PT uniform.

While in the PT uniform, headphones are not authorized. Socks must be white, without logos, and must cover the ball of the ankle.

“Many are the troops who think they can wear anklets which give the appearance of no socks,” Wheeler wrote. “Wrong!”

He noted that many troops aren’t following the 8th U.S. Army Standards Handbook rules on reflective vests.

“Many troops are wearing reflective belts or no reflective gear at all,” according to Wheeler.

He also reminded servicemembers that no part of the PT uniform should be worn with civilian clothing.

And commanders should ensure troops are working out — not playing sports — during PT sessions, Wheeler stated.

“Organized athletics have their place … just not normally during the unit’s normal daily physical fitness periods,” he wrote.

“Remember this as well: Being a soldier in the Army is an outdoor sport!” according to Wheeler. “You don’t get in shape for pushups by holding up the walls of the local gymnasium.”

Wheeler said most of the rule-breakers are junior noncommissioned officers and junior officers, “oftentimes in the vicinity of their more senior leadership.”

“That senior leadership is not correcting the subordinate leadership is why we see so many violations,” said Wheeler. “I sure hope it’s not because they don’t know the standards themselves."


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