U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lowery, an F/A-18D pilot and Sgt. Austin Jagodzinski, an ordnance technician with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 533, maintain a perfect score of 300 for their Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and Combat Fitness Test (CFT), at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
Lowery and Jagodzinski are two of the Marines in their squadron who achieved a perfect score in both their PFT and CFT. Marines in the squadron typically work 12-hour days varying from days to nights, and have to conduct physical training on their own.
“I make going to the gym my priority and when something’s your priority, you’ll find time to squeeze it in,” said Jagodzinski, who works nights. “Being in the air wing, we have really long working days, so I normally like to go and get my workout done before my workday begins so I don’t have to worry about it -- it’s out of the way. I’ll make that my first priority. It’s the first thing I do when I get up.”
Marine Corps Community Services Iwakuni accommodates Marine’s schedules by providing 24 hour gyms. This gives MCAS Iwakuni service members the resources they need to exercise when they work irregular hours.
“I tell myself, even a couple of miles is better than no miles,” says Lowery. “Even a short workout is better than none at all. It's the consistency and entire lifestyle that's required.”
Lowery has maintained 12 years of perfect scores in both the PFT and CFT and says that he feels that he has to be the example for his Marines, that his pride is a part of his motivation.
For Jagodzinski, self-motivation is the primary driver to achieve his goals.
“You have to want to be able to better yourself and go above and beyond that standard,” said Jagodzinski. “Don’t be flustered by a long work day, that day is going to end and you need to get over those mental barriers.”
Regardless of the mission at Marine Aircraft Group 12, these Marines have proven to go above and beyond on their own to train and strive for perfection.