Living The Army Values, Before Beginning His Military Career

By STORY BY SGT. MICHAEL NEEDHAM,

Every Soldier who enlists in the Mississippi Army National Guard takes an oath to live by the seven Army Values: 'Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.'

Two years ago Private First Class Timothy Garrett Ivy weighed three hundred and forty-two pounds. Ivy wanted to join the MSARNG, and he knew the only way he could join was to lose the weight.

Weight control is a battle that some Soldiers continue to fight all through their career. Some of the keys to maintaining a healthy weight are proper diet and exercise and making sure that you are burning more calories than you take in.

I was way over weight and one-day I just decided that I was going to the lose weight and join, said Pfc. Garrett Ivy, 1st battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. He went on to say that he got down to one hundred and ninety-five pounds, a weight that he had to reach just to join the MSARNG.

The journey of losing the weight tested Ivy. He had to Respect the process, and exercise the Personal Courage needed to stick with his diet and exercise, after all this was a new lifestyle.

The summer between his junior and senior year of high school, Ivy was able to lose seventy pounds; a massive accomplishment for his personal health and for attaining his goal of being able to join the MSARNG.

“When I first lost the weight and started to run I barely made it one mile,” said Ivy. “Now when I run, it’s three days a week and no less than three miles per run.”

Keeping the weight off can be just as challenging as losing weight. In order to maintain weight, a person has to monitor their caloric intake and make sure they have a balanced diet.

Ivy, now a college student, understands how important his diet and exercise is for his career in the MSARNG.

“I have to maintain my discipline,” said Ivy. “Just because I lost the weight does not mean that I can relax, I have to stay active.”

Ivy has aspirations of becoming a Non-commissioned Officer and then transitioning into the Officer Candidate School program; two major goals in his military career that would not be possible if he did not lose the weight.

Staying active and having a proper diet are key components for every Soldier in the MSARNG. Without strength and mobility, Soldiers are not effective and may not be able to accomplish the mission. The lack of such characteristics could affect their unit and the MSARNG as a whole.

If you or someone you know are planning to start a diet, be sure to consult your physician before starting your journey and remember: it takes time and hard work.

Ivy is the son of Tim and April Ivy of Enterprise, MS.