Powerlifting team regulates the competition

JBLM team proves anything is possible through determination, dedication

By James Williams on January 8, 2016

The United States military has long been known for overwhelming power, dedication, determination, and doing what many are not willing to do. A small group of soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) has chosen to take its training to the next level and bring even more honor into the JBLM community.

Known as the Regulator Powerlifting Team, the team puts the individual power and dedication of the American servicemember on display. While the intent in competition is primarily to further themselves as soldiers, the five-man team also brings respect for local servicemembers.

"We compete in powerlifting to maintain soldier physical readiness," Sgt. Donald Rogers, captain of the Regulators, told The Ranger.  "Sometimes it's not about how many push-ups or sit-ups you can do, or how fast you can run two miles. When you need someone to carry multiple sand bags, carry tow bars, or carry a 280-pound soldier in combat gear, you will want one of these guys on your team."

Though Rogers maintains the intent is to ensure that team members are as physically prepared as possible to perform their duties, what these young men have been able to complete is nothing short of amazing. Each member of the team (including two civilian lifting partners who do not compete) is state ranked and nationally qualified. Furthermore, team members dedicate more than 12 hours of their personal time a week to the gym.

Along with Rogers, co-captains Sgt. Zachary Ellis and Spc. Rodney Sutherland and team members Spc. Ronico Barin and Cpl. David Barin have truly embodied the loyalty, selfless service, honor and personal courage that are taught in basic training and beyond.

As a team, this small group of enlisted soldiers was brought together through a mutual hobby and built a strong camaraderie that can only be found in high-pressure situations. At the Regulators' first competition, the team finished second overall in the team competition and brought home a total of 12 gold medals, five silver medals and two bronze medals. All of this was accomplished while juggling active-duty military service and shows a level of determination and dedication that is rarely witnessed in the current societal climate.

Currently, the Regulators are pushing one another to extremes as they prepare for their next competition Feb. 20.  The meet will be held at the Tacoma Strength and Power Gym in Tacoma. As with all athletes, the Regulators look to improve on their last showing. The team has high expectations as they strive for an all-around team first place finish as well as adding to their collection of gold medals.