PHOTO CAPTION: 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, poses for a photo beside artwork of the Spartan Brigade’s unit insignia 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)
May 1, 2013
By Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Smith
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Spc. Jeremy J. Durgin, with the 1-40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, has earned a spot on the All-Army Boxing Team, and has been selected as a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) headquartered at Fort Carson, Colo.
Durgin, who hails from Beaumont, Texas, earned a spot on the World Class Athlete Program by winning twice at the All-Army competition held in Fort Hauchuca, Ariz., and placing fourth two weeks later at the USA Boxing National Championship competition held at Spokane, Wash.
While at the USA Boxing National Championships, 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 the 17-year-old U.S. 2012 Olympic Gold medalist female boxer, Clarissa Shields.
“I was like, that’s her! That’s her right there!” said Durgin. “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 at trials, he will could earn a spot as an Olympian for the 2016 Olympics.
Since its inception in 1997, WCAP has produced 55 soldier athletes who have represented the United States in the summer and winter Olympic Games. 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,” said Durgin. “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, Army 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,” said Durgin.
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, Alaska. 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,” said Durgin. “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 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.
Durgin, a self-motivator added, “Whether you are an athlete, soldier, or civilian, it’s mind over matter. 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.”