75th FSS Instructor cultivates Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Renan Arredondo, 2D Audiovisual Squadron

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Teaching Airmen proper exercise discipline and fostering positive instruction is something Brett Carbo, 75th Force Support Squadron training specialist, is extremely passionate about. Carbo works as a training specialist during the workday and a fitness instructor after hours at the Hess Fitness Center, presenting him with many opportunities to educate and train young Airmen on a daily basis.

But in 2008 while transitioning from active duty to the Utah Air National Guard, Carbo realized his 17 years of service had caused his lifestyle to decline.

“I suffered several knee injuries back in 2007 and concluded that I need to get my health back on track,” said Carbo. “I started to strengthen my knee by building a workout plan and within 6 months I passed my fit test with a 97%.”

After retiring from the military in 2013, Carbo later became a civilian employee on Hill Air Force Base, traveling as an equipment specialist teaching F-16 maintainers how to manage test equipment until 2019. This position would spark Carbo’s initial passion for teaching that he sought to carry into his future career choices. “I like seeing people reach their goals, no matter what it is,” said Carbo.

He began dedicating his off-duty hours to self-improvement, and mastered different exercise approaches to become a certified personal trainer.

“One of the most important things that people forget about is taking care of their nutrition and health,” said Carbo. “If we don’t keep building ourselves by the time we get older, it won’t be as easy to maintain it along the way.”

By the end of 2019, Carbo received notice that his job was being relocated; he decided to stay on Hill Air Force Base to stay close to his family and found a job as an instructor at the course development office for the 75th FSS. “I get to use a lot of my personal experiences from being supervisor for my classes, as well as watching people’s mindsets change during the classes as they benefit from the material.”

Carbo continued to lead classes that encouraged and motivated his colleagues to learn introductory strength-based workouts. “I love the interactions of the people I’ve helped out or assisted in meeting their goals,” said Carbo. “It can be as complex as training for a Spartan competition or being able to run that first 5K.”

The off-duty classes Carbo offered guided him to a new positon instructing Fitness Improvement Program classes at the Hess Fitness Center where he could volunteer separate from his job.

“A lot of people in active duty need the help to keep up with Air Force fitness testing standards and building a routine,” said Carbo. “I'm able to relate to most of the airmen having failed a PT test during my career and dealing with the stress that comes from it.”

Carbo brought an innovative approach to teaching fitness; an old aircraft maintenance concept called Fully Mission Capable. The FMC Concept is the idea that Airmen should be capable of efficiently performing Air Force tasks in their work centers and when called upon to be at peak overall health.

“Implementing old military jargon allows uniformed members to have a baseline of comprehension when learning these fitness practices through FIP instructors,” said Carbo. “The biggest goal is to have the Airmen master each workout and leave with something to build upon.”

He found that using something as simple as a kettlebell can create a solid baseline for different types of exercise movements that can support different capacities of the body. “The reason why I got kettlebell certified is because there’s a lot of basic movements that can be used with the kettlebell with minimal instruction and can be taught within a couple of minutes,” said Carbo.

Classes are held Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Warrior Fitness Center for enlisted Airmen on base. He also leads classes on Saturdays at 8 a.m., offering basic exercises with kettlebells. “You can do a great program with a single kettlebell, if you then add a second it just gets even better,” exclaimed Carbo. “There is nothing better than teaching someone the basics and then watching them progress over time.”