A month and a half ago, Josh Pierson weighed 235 pounds and he had just decided he wanted to serve his country.
The 17-year-old graduate wasn't in shape when he made the decision. But, in a few short weeks, his motivation and discipline has allowed him to drop more than 20 pounds and he is closer to being accepted into the National Guard.
"He was referred by the soldier that shipped out on July 9. He scored a real decent ASVAB [Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery Test] score of 88. However, he doesn't meet the Army's standards to ship to basic training due to body fat content," said Sfc. David Sollberger, who explained that the required amount is 24 percent.
Want to figure out if your body fat content is in compliance with the Army's? Click here.
Just after a few weeks, Pierson is only about 10 percent body fat away from his goal. Sollberger helps keep Pierson on track by meeting twice a week for a rigurous workout.
"It's hard work already and I’m not even in," Pierson laughed and said.
Serving his country and bettering himself, keeps Pierson, whose grandfather served in Korea, on track.
"My friend Joshua joined way before I even thought about joining, but all of the benefits he was going to get from it sounded really good," he said. "Paid tuition, I'll lose some weight, serve my country and better myself — it sounded like a really good deal."
Pierson is working out every day, eating better and smaller portions and coming into twice a week to workout with Sollberger.
"I used to eat big portions ... three plates of spaghetti ... I would snack in between meals," Pierson said. "Now I eat smaller portions, stay away from carbs and I stopped snacking. The first month was really bad."
Pierson said he hopes to keep on pace so that he can go up to the military processing station in Cleveland soon.
"He’s doing really well," said Sollberger. "I've had people who wanted to lose the weight and come in but never do it. Unfortunately, like any other business or goal, if you lose interest ... the person putting that goal out there for you may lose interest as well. This isn't the case with Joshua."
Even though Pierson has been working strenuously and has been disciplined with meals, he said he won't be happy until he reaches his ultimate goal.
"For the most part, probably just knowing the pride I'll have whenever I do get there is motivation enough for me," he said. "I’ll just be in a position I never thought I’d be in in my entire life."
For more information on the National Guard, call Sfc. David Sollberger at 330-212-7022.