Secretary of the Army falls out of morning physical training

Maj. Casey Galligan, from left, Command Sgt. Maj. Tomothy Metheny, Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy and Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley go through PT Monday morning at Fort Benning. Photo credit: US Army

Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick J Murphy learned the hard way that doing PT gets harder if you don’t keep up with it after your term of service ends.

“It has been a decade since I have been here doing an obstacle course, so I am smoked,” Murphy said in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “Thank God I didn’t eat breakfast before PT this morning.”

The 42-year old Murphy spent over half an hour training with 100 Officer Candidate School candidates earlier this morning, admitting that he was “smoked” and determined to return to the obstacle course.

“I will come back and I will pass that obstacle course, every single one,” Murphy said as the soldiers finished up PT.

Murphy was flanked by Benning commander Brigadier General Eric Wesley and CSM Timothy Mehteny, who naturally gave their boss a high performance evaluation.

“He is a civilian, and he didn’t have to be here,” Wesley commented.

Metheny said that “more battles are won between 0600 and 0800 than at any other time,” Metheny said, stressing the importance of physical fitness.

Acting Secretary Murphy -a former JAG officer in the 82nd Airborne turned Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania- visited Fort Benning to speak at the awards ceremony for the United States Army’s “Best Ranger” competition.

Earlier this morning, Murphy told soldiers that they were part of a defining moment in American history.

“I know the Marines have a great commercial,’ Murphy said, ‘but the bottom line is this: if there is a national disaster and a governor in our country calls 911, he calls the Army; the president of the United States has an issue with Ebola in Africa, he calls the 101st Airborne Division. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, North Korea, Russia …The world is volatile and thank God the world has the U.S. Army to answer the call.”

Murphy referred to the US Army as “America’s varsity team” and that “We don’t choose what fights we get in, we just finish the fights”, while trying to make a “positive difference.”

“Look at Afghanistan”, Murphy said. “It is not perfect. It is not like the Jersey shore or anything like that. But there are millions of girls that go to school right now that never went to school before in Afghanistan.”

Murphy was appointed by President Barack Obama, replacing Eric Kenneth Fanning, the first openly gay leader of a U.S. service, on January 4th of this year.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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