Spc. Jeremy J. Durgin, a member of the All-Army Boxing Team, assigned to the 1-40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, trains on a speed bag at the Arctic Warrior Combatives Academy April 16, 2013, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Durgin qualified for the Army's World Class Athlete Program and will begin training at Fort Carson, Colo., for the 2016 Olympic Trials. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Smith) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Smith)
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Spc. Jeremy Durgin, with the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, has earned a spot on the All-Army Boxing Team, and been selected as a member of the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program headquartered at Fort Carson, Colo.
Durgin, from Beaumont, Texas, earned a spot on the WCAP by winning twice at the All-Army competition in Fort Hauchuca, Ariz., and placing fourth two weeks later at the USA Boxing National Championship competition in Spokane, Wash.
While at the BNC, Durgin was able to meet some of boxing's elite fighters, including bronze, silver and gold medalists. He was particularly impressed and happy to meet 17-year-old U.S. 2012 Olympic Gold medalist female boxer, Clarissa Shields.
"I was like, that's her! That's her right there." Durgin said. "She's only 17, so that's outstanding."
Durgin is slotted to begin training with the WCAP boxing program at Fort Carson on special orders in the upcoming months.
There he will begin extensive training in preparation for the Olympic Trials. If he succeeds, he could earn a spot as an Olympian for the 2016 games.
Since its inception in 1997, WCAP has produced 55 Soldier athletes who have represented the United States in the summer and winter Olympics. WCAP's Olympians have represented a wide variety of sports, earning bronze, silver and gold medals.
Durgin, who recently redeployed from Afghanistan with the Spartan Brigade, said he has put in significant time and effort training since the beginning of this year.
"A lot of hard work and dedication," Durgin said. "I've just been working."
Durgin has high hopes and aspirations, and is aiming for the top of the podium.
"With training, I can go far - pretty, pretty far. I think I can get a medal: a gold medal.
That's the plan: a gold medal," Durgin said.
Durgin is happy to have his leaders in the Army as his idols. He said his idol right now is his first-line supervisor, Sgt. William Allen.
"He teaches me a lot of stuff. ... He keeps me motivated and mentors me, and keeps my mind focused on the mission. He keeps me from doing the wrong thing, so I look up to him. I go with people who are motivated in life," Durgin said.
With an Olympic medal in sight, Durgin has been eating healthy and training at the Arctic Warrior Combatives Academy on JBER and the Daniels Boxing School in Anchorage. He also looks to mentors like 2008 Olympian David Carey, who he meets with at the Muldoon Community Center in Anchorage.
Durgin said body weight is very important in boxing, so he has to keep tabs on his caloric intake. He had a personal book during his recent training which he used to write down his progress toward his goals.
"It is basically a book to plan, and make myself a better person, not just in boxing, but in my life," Durgin said. "So, it's just a little book to get it down on paper. I think everybody can use one of those, because it is really helpful."
Durgin said he plans to stay in the Army no matter what happens with his boxing career.
"I'm still going to be in the Army, whether I win the gold medal or I don't qualify. I have learned a lot, and I'm still in the learning process. I've got great, positive NCOs who are showing me the ropes, and I pretty much intend on staying in the Army. It's something I can see myself doing for 20 years," Durgin said.
"Whether you are an athlete, Soldier, or civilian, it's mind over matter," Durgin said.
"You have to be motivated and dedicated to do it, each and every day. I feel like there is no time to be wasted when you are trying to reach a level on your own, and trying to better yourself ... Just give your all. That's what I like to say, just give it your all."