Sweat rewards in training the trainers

When Sergeant Adam Hoff needed a change in his Army career, he decided to channel his passion for fitness into a rewarding new role.

CAPTIONPhysical training instructor Sergeant Adam Hoff at the ADF Physical Training School in HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. Story by Richard Wilkins. Photo by Petty Officer Christopher Szumlanski.

Now, as an instructor at the ADF Physical Training School at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria, Sergeant Hoff is responsible for training students to become physical training instructors (PTIs).

The role is physically demanding, but important to developing joint physical capability.

“I love instructing. I really enjoy being able to impart knowledge to our future PTIs,” Sergeant Hoff said.

“For me, there is nothing better than seeing members improve in both technique and fitness.”

Sergeant Hoff joined the Army in 2009, having previously worked as a qualified carpenter.

He started his career as a surveillance operator in 20 Regiment, moving into unmanned aerial surveillance systems.

In August 2011, he deployed to Afghanistan, operating the Scaneagle UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with UAV Group 9.

“After deployment I became a combat fitness leader and started competing in half ironman events,” Sergeant Hoff said.

“I competed in the 2016 Half Ironman World Championships as part of the ADF team, which remains one of my proudest achievements.

“It was during this time, having been in Defence for eight years, I had the urge to move on. It was a tough decision as I really enjoyed the Army and 20 Regiment, but the tempo had slowed down and I knew I was ready to leave.”

Despite offers from civilian contractors, Sergeant Hoff didn’t move too far away, knowing he still had something to offer the ADF through his physical skills.

He decided to become a PTI at the ADF Physical Training School under Training Authority-Maritime Logistics and Health at HMAS Cerberus.

“As a triathlete, I trained with a coach utilising different training platforms and regimes,” he said.

“At 20 Regiment I regularly ran PT. With the knowledge I had gained, I knew I had the option of becoming a PTI and believed I had something to offer the PTI trade.”

Sergeant Hoff now spends his days instructing lessons, delivering theory, assessing students, coaching and mentoring.

He said it is the satisfaction of seeing members improve that makes the job rewarding.

“As an instructor at the school, seeing our future PTIs graduate, the difference from when they first march in to when they graduate is impressive and rewarding,” he said.

Physical discipline is something Sergeant Hoff applies to his personal life as well as his professional one.

“My wife is a yoga instructor and we practise a few times a week outside of teaching,” he said.

“For myself, I have taken up archery, competing in the last state and national championships and ranking second in Victoria and third in Australia for the 18m indoor event.

“If you want to be a PTI, it has to be something you are passionate about, otherwise it will reflect in your lessons and your communication with others. Communication is key.”


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