Mid-Mo soldier loses 107 pounds to become Soldier of the Year

5 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, August 19 2014 Aug 19, 2014 Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:17:00 AM CDT August 19, 2014 in News
By: Drew Whiteman, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

FORT LEONARD WOOD - Spc. Joshua Roberts has won the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command Soldier of the Year award after a two-year journey.

Roberts weighed around 285 pounds in high school, and gained about 30 more pounds during his football career at Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota before deciding he wanted to do something more meaningful.

"I tried going to a [U.S. Army] recruiter. The recruiter told me I was too big, and I would have to lose a lot of weight," said Roberts.

Roberts said it wasn't just the recruiter that didn't take him seriously - his friends and coworkers also said he'd never make it in the military. They didn't think he could handle the early hours and the massive lifestyle changes, but Roberts was determined.

"I wanted to prove them wrong," he said. "Since then I dropped 107 pounds, and here I am today," Roberts said, referring to his TRADOC Soldier of the Year award.

It took Roberts almost a full year to lose enough weight to even join the Army.

"I ate healthy. I used to eat whatever I wanted. I decided enough is enough. I stopped drinking pop; I stopped going out for fast food. I started eating less, and I did a lot of running. [The weight] slowly started shedding off," Roberts said.

Roberts' platoon sergeant, Sergeant 1st Class Kyle Riley, became the driving force behind him going to boards and competing for company, battalion and brigade Solider of the Quarter, Month and Year.

He finished training at Fort Leonard Wood in August 2012 and after arriving at his new unit, the 988th Military Police Company, 92nd MP Battalion, he went to the Solider of the Month board, where he lost several times.

Due to Riley's encouragement, Roberts did not give up.

"My platoon sergeant talked me into going one more time. He told me, ‘You know what you're talking about; you are like the total soldier concept. I need you to keep going to these boards. You can do it,'" Roberts said.

At the TRADOC competition, he said he felt he was "really doing well" - which turned out to be an understatement.

Roberts won battalion, brigade, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and TRADOC Soldier of the Year. Many of the competing soldiers called Roberts, "Soldier of the Universe," but Roberts kept focused throughout the competition.

"We had a 12 mile ruck [march]," he said. "Only three of us finished the whole thing. I was the only soldier to finish, and the other two were sergeants first class, who were Ranger qualified," he added. "I felt great and confident throughout the whole competition." 

The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence command sergeant major said Roberts' concentration and preparation were evident.

"Spc. Roberts had an attitude of preparedness and absolutely impressed me throughout the entire competition. He was in first in most, if not all events, and he never let it go to his head," said Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy. "He was a team player until the end. The young trooper is a shining example of what ‘right' looks like."

Murphy was very proud of Roberts winning TRADOC Soldier of the Year.

"He worked extremely hard for this and represented Fort Leonard Wood and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in a grand fashion," Murphy said. "He also represented himself extremely well as a soldier, showing not only himself that he has what it takes to be the best, but [also] anyone who sees him."

Roberts will be representing TRADOC at the U.S. Army's Best Warrior Competition in October at Fort Lee in Virginia.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- Volunteers worked to make 50,000 renewal kits for students, faculty, and staff. The kit is designed to curb... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 9:40:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — JC Schools held a virtual session, Friday, to answer questions from parents and staff regarding the fall... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 7:28:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The Boone County Commission released a letter on Friday, defending decisions made concerning CARES Act funding. On... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 4:53:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some ballots requested near the state's deadline may not be returned by mail in time to be... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 3:38:58 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — This school year, some parents are responsible for juggling jobs and helping teach their children outside the... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 3:28:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police have identified a man who was found shot to death in a grassy lot in... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 2:12:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Police have charged a 25-year-old man with first-degree murder after they say he shot and killed a 5-year-old... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 2:02:01 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Missouri prosecutors on Wednesday came out against Republican Gov. Mike Parson's proposal to give the state attorney... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 11:15:49 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is making clear why he opposes extra money for the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service.... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 11:12:01 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
( Missourian ) - Want to support Columbia businesses that are struggling through the pandemic and not leave your... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 10:48:00 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police in southwestern Missouri are investigating the shooting death of a man in Springfield. Police said... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 10:41:41 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — The newest Major League Soccer team will be called St. Louis City SC when it debuts... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 10:23:53 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 10:01:00 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Boris Johnson's latest strategy to fight coronavirus aims to make Britain healthier -- but campaigners are worried about... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 8:05:05 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged in the shooting death of a 4-year-old Kansas City, Missouri,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 6:09:31 AM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Forum Boulevard closed throughout the night for construction workers to build storm sewer drainage between Green Meadows Road... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, August 13 2020 Aug 13, 2020 Thursday, August 13, 2020 7:44:00 PM CDT August 13, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s City Council discussed homelessness Thursday during their budget work session. Ward 1 Council Member, Pat Fowler,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, August 13 2020 Aug 13, 2020 Thursday, August 13, 2020 7:16:00 PM CDT August 13, 2020 in News
(AP) - The NCAA will not conduct fall championship events - a move that does not effect major college football... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, August 13 2020 Aug 13, 2020 Thursday, August 13, 2020 6:10:00 PM CDT August 13, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
10am 78°
11am 80°
12pm 83°
1pm 84°