Spc. Juan Gonzalez, a scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), poses for a photo at the 1-32 Infantry 24-hour gym where he trained hard enough to become the first enlisted Soldier to max out the new Army Combat Fitness Test with a score of 600. Right: Gonzalez performs a ball toss at the Atkins Functional Fitness Facility. (U.S. Army photos by Staff Sgt. James Avery, 1st BCT Public Affairs)
1st Brigade Combat Team enlisted Soldier earns perfect score on Army Combat Fitness Test
Staff Sgt. James Avery
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Oct. 3, 2019) – The new Army Combat Fitness Test is scheduled to replace the current Army Physical Fitness Test by October 2020, but units across the Army are preparing for it now. Out of all formations the Army has around the world, only one can claim an enlisted Soldier who has maxed the test: 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
All Army units have that “one” Soldier: the PT master. Spc. Juan Gonzalez, a scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-32 Infantry, takes physical fitness very seriously. He regularly maxes out the APFT (a score of 300), and he recently maxed out the ACFT (a score of 600), making him the second Soldier in the Army to achieve such a goal.
“It all started in high school where I wrestled and weightlifted. Then I got into powerlifting for a few years and (functional fitness) where I competed a lot,” Gonzalez said. “Then I drifted off into solely Olympic lifting and went to Nationals where I placed in the top 20. After that I joined the Army.”
Like many Soldiers who joined the Army later in life, Gonzalez has had his share of experiences outside of a military career, and he saw joining as a way to straighten out and get on track.
“It’s been the story of my life,” Gonzalez said. “I never felt like I had a career. I’m very athletic and competitive, but a little old to be trying out for the Olympic team at 29. I went to college a few times, but the structure the Army offered has helped me stick to things and get them done.”
Like his Army career, Gonzalez has a habit of finding a path to success and running it to ground with tenacity. When he found out just how much the ACFT incorporated into what he already knew about functional fitness, he made it his mission be on top and help others get there with him.
“I’m looking at getting to Ranger School soon, and going Special Forces would be awesome,” Gonzalez said. “I want to be the best I can be. (I) and a lot of other Soldiers are in the gym countless nights, working on strength and speed. It feels good.”