COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Not everyone trains like a warrior, not everyone hits the minimum standards to complete basic training, not everyone can give up their bad habits for a cause greater than themselves, but the few who do go to great lengths to sacrifice comfort end up where they want to be.
The Air Force physical fitness standards do not demand anyone to be superhuman, they are standards that every Airman must meet and for a then sophomore in high school, Jacob Davis, he couldn’t imagine reaching those standards.
“I was tired of being bullied for my weight, I was hanging around the wrong groups, and I needed to change my lifestyle,” said Airman 1st Class Jacob Davis, 14th Student Squadron aviation resource manager. “I started working hard and eating right when I could. Now looking back on it, lots of people started encouraging me at school and home, they were proud of me.”
He recalled he hadn’t chose what he wanted to do until his senior year, but it became clear early on he didn’t want to become stagnant or lose the progress he was making.
“After changing my life around and looking into the Air Force I saw they would push me to be better and it seemed like a good fit,” Davis said. “A few of my friends were preparing to be Marines and Soldiers, and they encouraged me to join too. I didn’t just want to sit around at a comfortable job and gain all the weight back so I became very interested in the military,”
His family was the most supportive, helping him when and where they could. His family had a history of service to multiple branches within the defense department, and told him he’d have to work hard. He explained they never sugar-coated the difficulty of losing all the weight.
“When I told my family I wanted to be in the military they were supportive,” Davis said. “My parents were helping me and tried to help push me in the right direction and my brother was in the Marines so he was a good influence as well. Regardless of the help and the shift in my daily life it was definitely an uphill battle.”
He ran almost every day, took up football, weight lifted with friends and kept the food on his plate in smaller portions. Over the next two years he would slowly watch his body transform.
“There was a lot for me to prove. I lost over 100 pounds to prepare for basic training, and I when I got there I was proud to be scoring really high on the physical fitness test,” Davis said. “Honestly it was cake.”
His goal was to be able to complete training, but by the end of it he came out of basic never scoring below a 90 percent out of 100. He was above the average and said he felt more prepared then he had expected.
“My first time home after completing basic, my dad reminded me of how he remembers I couldn’t do a single push up in the living room,” Davis said. “When both my parents saw my progress I think that transformed my mindset from pride in my progress to pure determination to keep pushing myself up the hill.”
The effort Davis put into his physical fitness carried over into other aspects of his life as well. He came to Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi after completing technical training to maintain flight records to validating aircrew safety requirements.
“He works really hard, his work ethic did transfer into his career,” said Airman 1st Class Amiron Cottman, 14th Student Squadron aviation resource manager. “Motivated isn’t a question, when I was gone for two weeks he took over a lot of the work. It shows in everything he does.”
Now working in the 14th STUS he found a job he is happy with and is always driven to achieve more.
“A lot of what Davis does is to better himself and those around him,” Cottman said. “People like him for his sense of humor and the energy he brings every day. He is proof that working hard can get you where you want to be.”