19th ESC NCO strives to meet fitness goals, inspire others
Comprehensive Soldier and family fitness builds resiliency and enhances performance in Soldiers’ lives. Staff Sgt. Roel Af lleje, the Operations Non-Commissioned Off icer in Charge for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th ExpeditionarySustainment Command, takes this mission to heart.
“It all starts with a will to be the best,” said Af lleje. “Having intestinal fortitude to never give up and reach your goals.” Af lleje, a 16-year Army veteran, and Dedudo, Guam native, is not afraid to pick up the pieces and mold great Soldiers. In addition to keeping track of 300 Soldiers’ training records, Af lleje is the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s Noncombatant Evacuation Operations NCOIC, Platoon Sergeant, Level 3 Combative Instructor, a devoted husband and father. During his free time, he is training to compete in the 2016 bodybuilding competition at Osan Airbase, South Korea. Coming from humble beginnings, Af lleje remembers grinding coconuts by hand as
a child to make essential items for his family. As a Soldier, his work ethic has not changed.
“Being raised in Guam I was taught to work hard and provide for your family,” said Af lleje.
“You have to strive for greatness in any endeavor you choose to participate in. I remember cutting grass every week and tending to my family’s chickens. The chickens were a means of survival and I had to do it. One thing I can say is it taught me to be resilient as I am today in our Army.”
Af lleje has been training for weeks to meet his personal fitness goal and to compete in the 2016 bodybuilding competition at Osan Airbase, South Korea. Af lleje uses the comprehensive Soldier Fitness model in his daily life. “The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Model is a lifestyle and not just a cliché check-the-block,” said Af lleje. “I love working out and mentoring Soldiers on meeting their mental and physical fitness goals. I don’t do it just because it is a requirement under 600-9, I do it because I care about Soldiers and their physical and mental stability. I joined the Army 16 years ago to make a difference in my life and my family’s life. I joined the Army because I didn’t like my boss, I know it sounds weird but I felt I had something to offer others and I felt that working in the government position wasn’t my place in life. I could have done a lot of things in my life but I chose this and that’s why I give it my best everyday.”
Since the launch of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness model in 2008, the Army has made several leaps and bounds toward building resiliency. As part of the U.S. Army Ready and Resilient Campaign Plan, the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness model was implemented in order to increase the physical and psychological health, resilience and performance of Soldiers, families and Army civilians. This program ensures Soldiers and their families are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.
“When I look back over the years things were a lot tougher back then,” said Af lleje. “We as Soldiers will never eliminate stress. Stress isn’t bad, that is a misconception stress lets us know that we are alive. Back in those days Soldiers had to fight harder and compete daily. There were days when Soldiers sought betterment and resilience. But, we as Non Commissioned Officers are charged with providing them with that guidance and resilience.”
Af lleje has proven himself as a leader to his subordinates and his seniors alike. “With times changing and the operation tempo beginning to slow down, training to sustain the fight is a top priority,” said 1st Sgt. Carlo Peterson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command here. “The Army life is unique, and many challenges can come with being part of an Army Family. Resilience and Performance Enhancement has
to become a staple in the lives of Soldiers. Staff Sgt. Af lleje is definitely an outstanding leader with unlimited capabilities that I would hope Soldiers would mimic.”
“Non Commissioned officers like Af lleje are adaptive and balanced leaders. Adaptive leaders are experts in problem-solving, positive thinking and coping with adversity,” said Peterson. “These skills are just a few that Soldiers need to be successful in the Army. These core skills can be applied throughout all areas of life and those are the skills needed to create a more capable and resilient adaptive fighting force.”
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