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Source: Brian Waterman, 785-532-5178,
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


MANHATTAN -- When it comes to doing push-ups, sit-ups, endurance running and other skills required in the U.S. Army's physical fitness test, few can top Kansas State University's Christopher Robinette.

Robinette, junior in sociology, Cedar Vale, finished ahead of nearly 500 other Army ROTC cadets in a recent Army physical fitness test at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He scored 354 points on an extended scale -- 300 is the Army's standard maximum score -- placing him in the top 2 percent of his 446-person regiment.

The test is part of the 29-day Army ROTC capstone training and assessment exercise called the Leadership Development and Assessment Course. It is taken by thousands of college students each summer. Passing the physical fitness test is a prerequisite to being commissioned as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Each cadet must pass the test on their fourth day of course training.

As a measure of strength and endurance, the physical fitness test consists of a two-mile run and a series of sit-ups and push-ups timed over two minutes. The push-up component of the test is traditionally the most challenging for cadets, according to K-State's Brian Waterman, senior military science instructor.

"Push-up form is the primary reason cadets struggle with the event at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course," he said. "A typical cadet might do 70 push-ups back on their campus, but when they get to Fort Lewis they may only get 60 counted. At K-State we really emphasize that the correct form is more important than speed."

Robinette's success on the test speaks highly of his future, Waterman said, as physical fitness is important to an Army career.

Thirty other K-State cadets are also taking the course at various dates throughout the summer. In addition to the physical fitness test, K-State cadets will undergo a water confidence test and a day and night land-navigation course. The four-week course also focuses on training in combat scenarios, civilian operations and gas chambers.

K-State Army ROTC cadets conduct physical training three times a week for three academic years leading up to the event, Waterman said. This training is not only in preparation for the course, he said, but to get cadets to a higher overall level of physical fitness.

Waterman said Robinette's success speaks highly of the K-State Army ROTC program.

"I think this shows that we care for our cadets and try to prepare them to the best of our ability," Waterman said. "It also shows the caliber of young men and women who choose K-State as their school of choice, and shows the support that K-State gives them and the Army ROTC program."

In addition to Robinette, the other K-State Army ROTC cadets attending the Leadership Development and Assessment Course this summer include:

David Ghormley, senior in psychology, Benton; Michael Champlin, senior in political science, Derby; Jacob Piscal, junior in social sciences, Fort Riley; Brandon Churchill, senior in history, Hays.

From Junction City: Raymond Colston, senior in sociology; Christopher Dirks, senior in history; Albert Glover, senior in elementary education; and Henry Huguley, senior in geography.

James Horton, senior in agronomy, and Garrett Jennings, senior in construction science and management, both from Leavenworth; Christopher Connell, senior in animal sciences and industry, Lenexa; Douglas Donovan, senior in construction science and management, Louisburg.

From Manhattan: Kipton Burba, senior in history; Kyle Cordas, senior in history; Tyler Goldsby, senior in sociology; Wellyn Gutknecht, senior in sociology; Rory Sharp, senior in biology; and Levi Van Pelt, senior in agricultural technology.

Michael Bryant, senior in construction science and management, Olathe; Richard Stromberg, senior in political science, Sterling; Morgan Hamilton, junior in sociology, Topeka; Nicolas Boeschling, senior in sociology, Waterville; and Adam Beckman, senior in social sciences, Wichita.

From out of state: Ethan Bezzek, senior in history, Brandon, Fla.; Cassandra Dutcher, junior in animal sciences and industry, Humboldt, Neb.; Asucena Ochoa Romero, senior in sociology, West Point, N.Y.;  Estaban Carrera, senior in marketing, Allen, Texas; Rosita Fregoso, senior in social sciences, Belton, Texas; Bryce Knott, junior in economics, Dallas, Texas; and Benjamin Novak, senior in mechanical engineering, Vancouver, Wash.