Face of Defense: Soldier Balances Fitness, Field Time

“A lot of people think fitness is about being strong,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Wallace said. “The thing that my program does is it’s all-around. You will be able to perform like you look and also be healthier. … You want to look good, but you have to be able to perform too.”

Wallace is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist here with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade. He has been in the Army for 19 years and running his fitness program for four, he said. Wallace has also played college basketball, All-Army basketball and has taken part in five bodybuilding competitions.

Wallace lives the Army values by ensuring that not only he is fit for the mission, but by helping others, through duty and selfless service.

“I want to show you that you can use your body as a gym,” he said.

‘Give it Time’

In the Army, people go to the field and travel a lot, Wallace said. So, he explained, the workouts he uses can last as little as 10-15 minutes but they achieve maximum results.

Wallace said he runs his fitness program for soldiers and civilians. He does it to help others get in shape.

Army Pfc. Tyler Palfy and Spc. Wes Schroeder, both with the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, are working with Wallace on a pilot program, they said.

Schroeder said he hopes he can improve his physical abilities and self-confidence during his time with Wallace.

“I have a lot of knowledge as far as fitness and my athletic background,” he said. “Some people do not like going to the gym or do not want to go alone.”

Wallace said that the people in the groups motivate each other and creates a fun, positive vibe.

Change does not happen overnight, he said.

“If change were easy, everyone would be changing their bodies. Give it time. Be patient,” he said

‘I’ll Meet You There’

“Have a goal,” Wallace said. “Come up with a plan. Then commit to it and see it all the way through. What do you want to do? Do you want to be stronger or faster? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be in overall better health?”

Wallace said that the most progress he has seen in a person was when he was deployed to Iraq. This person came to him 30 pounds overweight and failing the physical fitness test. Six months later, he had lost 40 pounds and was able to score a 300 on his PT test.

“That made me feel good,” Wallace said. “I don’t do it for the money; I do it to help other people. It does not matter the age, size, background, or where you are from. If you are willing to show up and put in the time, I’ll meet you there.”

Wallace often records his workouts, he said. He edits the recordings to create workout videos. He said his goal is to eventually see his videos distributed internationally.

Wallace said he got into competing by accident.

“I was going to the gym,” he said. “Then some personal trainer asked, ‘Hey, do you compete?’”

“I said ‘No.’ The personal trainer said, ‘You should go,’” Wallace said. “So I gave it a try, not knowing how to prep and going into it blindly.”

He placed third at his first competition. After seeing how successful he was the first time, he continued.

“I feel like I am going in the right direction,” Wallace said.