FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Roy Montez, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s BE FIT ambassador, visited Fort Leonard Wood June 26 to host guided workouts and answer fitness-related questions for customers at the Main Exchange.
The event began in the front area of the store with music and large BE FIT signage. Passing customers looked on as nine motor transport operator trainees and a drill sergeant assigned to the 58th Transportation Battalion took part in what Montez called a 20-minute targeted workout that included drop squats, lunges and planks with rotations that work the arms, core, back, glutes and lower body for full-body strength and conditioning.
Pfc. Thomas Dale, from Grinnell, Iowa, graduates Advanced Individual Training at the end of July. He said he enjoyed the “upbeat tempo” of Montez’ workouts.
“I liked it,” he said. “It was great — I liked that we could go at our own pace. If we wanted to go faster, we could go faster.”
Pfc. Stephanie Sonneman, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, agreed that the upbeat nature of Montez’ workouts made a difference.
“It was fun as well because there was music involved,” she said.
The Exchange’s BE FIT initiative highlights healthier food and fitness options for AAFES customers, including service members, their families and retirees. Montez, who became the Exchange’s BE FIT ambassador in 2018, said this was the first installation he’s visited in this capacity, and he hopes “it’s the first of many.”
“The team here at Fort Leonard Wood reached out and said, ‘Hey, what do you think about coming out here and having some sort of BE FIT live event and connecting with our Soldiers?’” he said. “I hope there is a snowball effect. We see the attention; we see the buzz around the installation for this.”
Montez, originally from San Antonio, Texas, is a certified personal trainer and former NCAA Division I soccer player. He began livestreaming guided workouts on the Exchange Facebook page when COVID-19 forced gyms to close.
“We host live workouts online every Monday,” he said. “Our customers have said they are looking for more interaction from us as far as the fitness-related workouts.”
In addition to the workouts available on social media, Montez pointed out that the AAFES BE FIT website — https://www.shopmyexchange.com/befit — has a lot to offer.
“We have fitness-related articles; we have workouts there; we have marathon training articles as well that I’ve done personally as I trained for marathons,” he said. “We have wellness services and we highlight better nutritional options — healthier choices — on that website as well. The (BE FIT) program empowers military customers, their families and the broader military community to make healthy lifestyle choices. The goal is to expand this for our warfighters to keep health and wellness on the forefront of their minds — to help remember how important these are to stay ready and resilient.”