Sergeant Tony's Blog

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold …

Wednesday, Mar. 27th 2013 3:48 PM

I was in Tuscan for a friend’s wedding in early April 2007 when I got some bad news.

A couple of days before I left Memphis, I called my CPA, Tom Farrar, to set up a meeting to do my taxes. I hate doing my taxes. Being self-employed means that I’m taxed at a rate of about 36%. (I should get Mitt Romney’s money guy. Mitt pays half of what I pay! Those millionaires sure are smart.) But being stupid, I get to pay more than 1/3 of what I make to Uncle Sam. Since I don’t get a refund, but instead get to pay, I usually wait until the last minute to get with my CPA. It’s drudgery. It’s tedious. It’s terribly boring. And I hate writing those checks. But I rationalize it by imagining that I’m paying the salaries of Marines in harm’s way.

And to those of you who do taxes for a living, God bless you.

Anyway, I got Tom’s voice mail and left a message, asking him to call me so that we could set up an appointment. By the next day, I still hadn’t heard from Tom, so I called him again. And again, I got his voice mail. I called three or four more times and never heard anything.

When I was at the airport in Phoenix, I called Tom again and again got no answer. This was not like him at all.

Tom was a former Air Force guy and a numbers genius. But he was also an overweight, hyper-type-A personality that concerned me from the time day I met him. He was conscientious, a stickler for details, and usually returned his calls within an hour.

“Tom, you need to come to Boot Camp … I promise you’ll like it and it’ll make you feel better,” I used to tell him. But he would always laugh it off and promise me that he’d come “one of these days.” He’d usually remind me that HE had joined the Air Force on purpose and NOT the Marine Corps. He wasn’t interested in exercise and such.

I had worried that Tom was a walking time bomb … a heart attack just waiting to happen. I badgered him, sweetly invited him, tried to shame him, and attempted to humiliate him over the years in an effort to get him to take care of himself and get in shape. I tried everything.

“All of that gung-ho exercise and running around getting shot at is for you Jarheads,” Tom had joked.

While waiting for my return flight home, I called one of our mutual friends to check on Tom.

“Cathy, I’ve called Tom several times and left him a voicemail every time, but I’ve not head back from him. Do you have any idea what’s up?” I asked.

“Oh, Tony you’ve not heard?”

“Heard what, Cathy? What’s up?”

“Tony, Tom is dead.”

“WHAT?? What do you mean he’s dead??” I said.

She explained that Tom had walked outside to get his newspaper, bent over to pick it up, and dropped dead in his front yard of a massive heart attack.

Tom had run out of days.
Completely preventable.

Tom never came to Boot Camp. He never let me help him.

In honor of my friend Tom, the month of April became our “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp Month!”

You can bring a friend to Boot Camp during April for a FREE DAY or two! No strings attached.

What’s in it for you?

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends and has the most points — beginning tomorrow — will get $100!! US Legal Tender. Not 100 Dollars in Boot Camp Bucks! The campaign ends on Friday, April 19th.

Here are the rules:

1. Your visiting friends need to be prospects for membership, so no out of town visitors will count toward your total number of friends for the contest. You’ll get 1 point for each new visitor.

2. Repeat visitors don’t count beyond their first visit – so you can’t bring your friend Bob 15 times during April and count it as 15 friends!

3. If your visitor joins the program, you get an additional 3 points, for a grand total of 4 points.

Whoever has the most points by the end of business on Friday, 19 April, wins $100.00!

We live in the fattest, most unhealthy, city in the country. That practically makes us the fattest city in the world. NOT the kind of statistic that we can be proud of. When our community is at risk, when it’s unhealthy and unfit, we all pay the price in higher health insurance and higher health care costs. We pay more for medical care and medication. We say goodbye to our loved ones too soon.

We all have family and friends who are at risk, who need to lose weight, who need to start exercising. Our friends and family aren’t getting better with age, overeating, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. They’re falling apart. Things get ugly. People get weak. Our loved ones get frail. Quality of life suffers and degenerates to nothing interesting or exciting. Sickness prevails.

Ask them to come with you to Boot Camp. It may be the greatest act of love that you can show them. And if they won’t come with you, encourage them to start doing something.

I wish I’d been more persistent in inviting Tom.

— 30 —


“A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors, will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools.” ~ Thucydides



Corporal Ashley Hofeditz, RD LDN, has been talking about the ten common food and nutrition mistakes and myths. Today we cover numbers 7 & 8.

“#7: Thinking that lean ground meat means low fat. According to the USDA, lean ground meat is defined as containing no more than 10% fat, which means that it is 90% lean, right? Yes, but there is a catch: the percentage refers to product WEIGHT, not the percentage of calories from fat. Four ounces of lean ground beef contains 199 calories and 11 grams of fat. But since each fat gram is 9 calories, this means that 99 of the 199 calories are from fat, or in other words, this ground beef is 50% fat! So if you are looking to reduce your fat intake, think even leaner, go for extra lean ground beef which is only about 33% fat.

#8 Thinking that all organic foods are healthy. Organic cookies and ice cream are still cookies and ice cream. An organic food (or its ingredients) is grown without pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones. That may be admirable, but it doesn’t automatically make it a health food or lower in calories or higher in nutrients. Read your labels!”

Thank you, Ashley!


Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family.



The evening class has returned to the 5:45pm start time for Monday – Thursday, and 5:30pm on Friday.



Currently we have over 2400 “Likes” on Facebook and over 6,000 check ins!!!!! That’s amazing! Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It would be awesome to have 2500 likes by the end of April!

Keep on checking in! Keep on tagging your friends!
Thanks, everyone!




The weather forecast for the weekend is a little iffy. But as of now, we’ll be running on Sunday.

We’ll meet at 7:00am on Sunday, March 31, in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. We’ll be going 2hrs 20min.




DID YOU START USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP LAST FEBRUARY, MARCH, OR APRIL 2012? Let me know, ASAP!! I want to get your rank t-shirt made ASAP!



Anytime the “Feels like” temperature on The Weather Channel – I’ll be using the TWC app for iPhone — drops to 30 or below, we’ll go inside. The 0530 and 0645 classes use the “blue gym” on those days. During basketball season, the evening class will use the exercise room off the main gym.

If the Memphis City Schools close for ice or snow, we will also stand down. If they start, but then dismiss classes early, the evening class will stand down.



What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.

It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!






Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.

Congratulations to the following members of the Sub Seven Club:

Lance Corporal Lee Chase,
Lance Corporal Chris McLelland,
Staff Sergeant Patrick Moore,
Staff Sergeant Rob Johnston,
Staff Sergeant Andrew Stolnicki,
Gunnery Sergeant Bart Thomas,
Staff Sergeant Dory Sellers,
Gunnery Sergeant Henry Kenworthy,
Master Sergeant John Winford,
First Sergeant Matt Green,
And Sergeant Major Andrew Forsdick.



Your rank insignia t-shirts look AWESOME on you! (Don’t forget to wear yours EVERY WEDNESDAY AND/OR THURSDAY, T-SHIRT DAY!

And please go to

And enter your boot camp anniversary date. If that information is already there and correct, you’re good to go.

Every Wednesday is our Official BOOT CAMP T-SHIRT DAY! You can wear your rank insignia shirt anytime you‘d like, of course, but always every Wednesday!

The Rank Structure of the Quarterdeck:

Under 6 months is a Private
Six months to 1 year is a Private First Class.

Over 1 year is a Lance Corporal
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Amber Jackson 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Wayne Henderson 1/2011 *
– Michelle Moss 5/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– JD Dombroski 8/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Tait Keller 12/2012
– Kitty Keller 12/2012

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Beth Mills 5/2010
– Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 4/2010
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Tim Romanow 8/2010
– Ashley McClure 8/2010
– Wendy Shea 4/2008*
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Paul Bauer 11/2010

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– Meg Cannon 3/2009
– Cameron Mosley 11/2009
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008
– Sarah Vickers 8/2009
– Shena Clemons 10/2008
– Robert Hunt 8/2009
– Albo Carruthers 8/2008
– Kim Wamble 8/2008*
– Scott Plunkett 10/2008

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Ben Killerlain 1/2009
– Buddy Daves 5/2008
– Dory Sellers 6/2006*
– Patrick Moore 9/2008
– Anne Kenworthy 8/2008
– Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
– Rob Johnston 4/2008
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– Frank Jemison /2007
– Bart Thomas /2007
– Matt Prince /2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– George Rose /2007

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
– Jeff Lee 1/2006
– Ralph Braden 9/2006

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– John Winford 2/2006
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Hank Brown 3/2004
– Teri Trotter 4/2004
– Andrew Forsdick 9/2004

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– David Townsend 1/2004
– Peter Pettit 5/2003
– Buddy Flinn 7/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003

Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003

Battalion Executive Officer
Major Richard Bourland

* broken time



We should be!


You should totally do that!



If you set up an automatic payment at your bank (Boot Camp mailing address is 4888 Southern, Memphis 38117) you can subtract $10 off your fee! That’s right, instead of $75, you can pay $65!

(This is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up.)



0530 Monday through Friday
(First and second Tuesday of the month are M-16 Workouts at CUMC. Third and fourth Tuesdays are Mt. Fuji Workouts at the U of M)

0645 M-F

5:45 PM: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 on Friday.



First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!

For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, (there are fake boot camps out there) you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take up to $20 off for any given month!

Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.


You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!



Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program at full price because of your recruiting efforts, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!



A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.

For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.


Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?
A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:
1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.
2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed become OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn on the TV.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.

What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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