Ft. Jackson opens “Soldier Performance Readiness Center,” focuses on 5 areas of fitness
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Fort Jackson is opening the “Drill Sergeant Timothy Kay Soldier Performance Readiness Center” (aka SPARC) — meant to assist soldiers in becoming more physically fit and mentally tough.
The center is named in honor of the late Drill Sergeant Timothy Kay, who lost his battle with cancer in September 2022.
Commanding General Jason Kelly says the new facility will bring an appreciation to all areas of fitness — including physical, mental, spiritual, and nutritional health, as well as the importance of getting adequate sleep and rest.
“We generate readiness for our Army. We provide trained, disciplined, fit, motivated, resilient, morally grounded soldiers and leaders for our nation. This facility, this ribbon that we cut today, is going to help us do that better,” says BG Kelly.
Soldiers will also have access to behavioral counselors, nutritionists, dieticians, and spiritual advisors — all under one roof.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, soldiers participated in a full body, hour-and-a-half long workout, at the new facility.
Fort Jackson’s 165th Infantry Brigade Commander, Colonel Kent Solheim, says by focusing on all fitness areas, soldiers will become more resilient, and more capable of overcoming adversity.
“This is a shift in culture. Yea I’d love to see you come in here and be able to bench press more, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to make you stronger in all areas and increase the performance in how our Army operates and live. And that starts with a cultural shift, and that’s what this represents,” says Colonel Solheim who reports that over half of the Army’s forces are trained at Fort Jackson.
He and BG Kelly believe this new holistic approach will have lasting effects on soldiers throughout their lives.
“I’m of the opinion that if we take care of our people, all else will follow. It’s our line of effort. People first. And this is that in action,” says BG Kelly.