Triumphant Airman Re-enlists

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christian Jadot
  • 144 FW/PA
Roughly two years ago the United States Air Force demanded a higher fitness standard of the Airmen in uniform. Some Airmen have faltered and have had to separate from the military; others have risen to the challenge. Tech. Sgt. Jason Cosgrave, 144th Medical Group, has done both.

"Around April [2011] I was unable to re-enlist in the Air National Guard," Sgt. Cosgrave said. "I had a weight problem, I was overweight and I was unable to pass the new physical training standards."

His commander stuck to the rigid new standards of the military PT program.
"He had failed at multiple attempts of his PT test," said Col. Joseph Pascuzzo, commander of the 144th Medical Group. "I did not feel that I could give him another extension, as it did not appear that he was close to passing his PT test, at that time. "

Sergeant Cosgrave did not take the disappointment lightly.

"Not being able to re-enlist because of my body weight was the most humiliating thing I have ever faced," Cosgrave said. "I was about 50 pounds overweight. I could not believe I got kicked out because of it."

After some disbelief, he decided he was going to earn his way back into the Guard.

"When I took accountability for myself, and for my weight, things began to turn around," Cosgrave said. "I began to miss the Guard and the people in my unit. I made close bonds with many of the people over the years. They were the primary motivation for me to get back into shape and to get back in the Guard."

Tech. Sgt. Cosgrave was able to work the pounds off through diet and exercise.

"I was surprised how much dieting made a difference," he added. "The people in the medical group were very supportive of me."

On January 31, 2012, Tech. Sgt. Cosgrave re-enlisted into the military and returned to his former unit.

"I was honored to swear Tech. Sgt. Cosgrave back into the 144th Fighter Wing," Col. Pascuzzo said. "I believe that he has become an exemplary model for us in the Wing and for the entire California Air National Guard. He has clearly demonstrated that if we become motivated and work hard we can all become "fit to fight."

Tech. Sgt. Cosgrave looks back on the experience as growing lesson in his military career.

"It started off as a negative," Cosgrave said. "I eventually took up the challenge and changed the situation into a positive. It is a horrible thought to lose a 9 year career for being fat."