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Combat medics of the 87th Medical Group knockout as many pushups as possible during a pushup-a-thon Nov. 22 at the clinic at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.. The group members accumulated 32,483 pushups during the pushup-a-thon increasing the overall total to more than 105,000 pushups going into the Thanksgiving holiday. The ultimate goal is for the Airmen of the 87th MDG to hit one million by the end of September 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Photo by Senior Airman Bryan SwinkReleased

87th MDG pushes up to reach 1 million

1 Dec 2011 | Senior Airman Bryan Swink

The 87th Medical Group combat medics began a unit competition among its squadrons to achieve a combined goal of completing one million pushups between October 1 and Sept. 30, 2012.

The idea behind completing one million pushups is not only a numerical goal, but a means to promote physical fitness, develop healthy competition between squadrons and give 87th MDG Airmen a common goal to achieve.

"Col. Burks implemented a policy which stated if a staff meeting went more than 60 minutes, the attendees would have to do pushups," said Senior Master Sgt. Stanley Knutelski, 87th Medical Support Squadron superintendent. "Following several of those long meetings back-to-back, one thing led to another and here we go."

The 87th MDG leadership said this type of camaraderie and competition fits into the principles of Comprehensive Airman Fitness. The physical, social and mental components are all addressed by the goal of reaching one million pushups.

Completing these pushups not only keep Airmen in shape for their physical fitness test, but also keep them healthy and fit-to-fight.

The pushup goal promotes social well-being by promoting healthy competition among squadrons. Members work together in hopes of being named the best squadron within the medical group.

The mental benefits are apparent as well. If an Airman is physically fit, he or she will be mentally fit and, and better able to accomplish the mission.

"This 'push to one million' represents our combat medics' spirit of teamwork, as each Airman contributes his or her best individual efforts to an overall goal which we can only accomplish together," said Col. James Burks, 87th MDG commander. "The 'push' reflects our wingmen culture ... and at its core essence, it is about living the principles of Comprehensive Airman Fitness."

A 'pushup-a-thon' was held at the clinic Nov. 22 to give the combat medics a chance to build on their combined number and have a friendly competition while doing it.

"The event yielded a few ironmen and women who were the top performers of the day," said Chief Master Sgt. Adrian Davis, 87th MDG superintendent. "The participants competed to see who could accumulate the most pushups throughout the day and most within an hour. They truly were exceptional, along with the many others who contributed to the pushup-a-thon."

The top male performers were Staff Sgt. Theodore Miller, 87th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, who completed 1,400 pushups throughout the day, and Airman 1st Class Miguel Rodriguez, 87th Medical Operations Squadron, who knocked out 680 pushups within one hour.

Senior Airman Jacqueline Douglas, 87th AMDS, finished as the top female participant completing 370 pushups in one hour and 670 throughout the day.

The group must accumulate more than 83,000 pushups a month to stay on pace to reach the one million mark.

Burks said the idea of one million pushups stemmed from the statement by Gen. Lance W. Lord, former Air Force Space Command commander, who said: "People don't fail because they aim too high and miss, they fail because they aim too low and hit."

The group members accumulated 32,483 pushups during the pushup-a-thon increasing the overall total to more than 105,000 pushups leading into the Thanksgiving holiday.
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit