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Air Commando of the month: physical fitness
U.S. Air Force Capt. Kenneth Corigliano, 56th Intelligence Squadron, rides his bike through Clovis, N.M., March 20, 2012. Corigliano was selected as the Air Commando of the month for April, highlighting physical fitness, one of Air Force Special Operations Command’s 13 Critical Attributes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jette Carr)
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Air Commando of the month: physical fitness

Posted 4/3/2012   Updated 4/4/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Jette Carr
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

4/3/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- Each month a new Airman will be highlighted as Air Commando of the Month. This title will be given by Cannon's Command Chief Master Sgt. to an Airman he feels embodies one of Air Force Special Operations Command's 13 Critical Attributes. These 13 attributes were highlighted by AFSOC leadership as distinguishing traits demonstrated by the top achieving Airmen in the Air Commando family. The qualities listed are adaptability, family strength, integrity, intelligence, judgment, leadership, maturity, perseverance, physical fitness, self-discipline, selflessness, self motivation and skill. The attribute highlighted this month is: physical fitness.

In April 2011, an Air Commando from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was hit by a car. Capt. Ken Corigliano, 56th Intelligence Squadron, was training for a triathlon at the time of the incident. He was on a bike ride with his uncle when a distracted motorist cut into the designated bike lane and struck him.

"I hit the fender, and I went straight into the windshield and collapsed the roof," said Corigliano. "Then she [the driver] slammed on the brakes. I flew off into the gravel."

He was taken away to the hospital by ambulance. The state trooper who arrived on scene did not see him leave. However, when she saw the wrecked car involved in the accident, the policewoman made an assumption - the cyclist hit must be dead. She went to look for him in the morgue.

Corigliano knows just how lucky he was to survive. He believes he lived because of his dedication to physical fitness. Though recovering from a traumatic brain injury and shards of glass embedded in his back, he walked out of the hospital that night and was able to leave for a deployment two weeks later.

Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Caruso, 27th Special Operations Wing command chief, chose to highlight Corigliano's accomplishments because he believes that physical fitness needs to be a top priority.

Not always fit to fight, he had been deployed to Afghanistan at the beginning of the War on Terror when his base was attacked. Struggling to run in body armor, he realized that weight training was not enough. The experience changed the way he looked at physical fitness.

Though he hated running, Corigliano joined a local cross country team. "That's where it all started," said Corigliano. "My coach was a two-time Olympic developmental coach of the year for triathlons."

His coach encouraged him to get involved in triathlons; at 31-years-old, Corigliano runs, bikes and swims for the Air Force team. He teaches a local high school swim team, started the Clovis triathlon team and holds the Cannon record for the fastest runtime - 8 minutes 4 seconds - during an official physical training test.

Capt. Corigliano is a very special officer," said Caruso. "He is exceptionally fit - In fact so much so that he has 100 percent on the last six years of PT evaluations in his record. But more so he's a great Air Commando and a great wingman."

Corigliano is devoted to staying physically fit, he said, but so are many Airmen at Cannon. According to his leadership, what truly sets him apart is that he not only takes care of his personal fitness, he also helps others reach their fitness goals. Corigliano willingly helps anyone who asks.

Corigliano said he has been fortunate to have been trained by some of the world's best coaches. In 2008, he went to the Beijing Olympics as a military liaison where he sought out athletes to gain more knowledge. He researches fitness and sends out occasional newsletters to his squadron explaining the correct way to be physically fit through good nutrition, exercise technique and getting enough rest.

"We're at a higher elevation and fitness can be difficult for new Airmen arriving at Cannon," said Lt. Col. James Chappelear, 56 IS commander. "It takes work to acclimate to this type of environment."

"Corigliano has done an outstanding job of getting his flight to that level of fitness," he said. "The trends are continuously going up because of his initiative and the work he puts into the program. Since he's come on board, every member of his flight has scored 90 percent or higher on their PT test. That is a significant achievement."

"You can't do exceptionally well at your job, live up to the core values of our Air Force and do what our nation asks without being in top physical shape," he said.

Email Corigliano to get fitness help and advice or to join his mailing list.

4/4/2012 4:14:23 PM ET
Ken is an outstanding guy and was in my Air and Space Basic Course class at Maxwell AFB when we were both Second Lieutenants. He helped me with my triathlon training and showed me how to push my limits, so much so that he gave me the motivation to train for an Ironman Triathlon -- a 140.6 mile competition I completed in 2010 as well as to be a part of the Air Force Cycling Team in 2008. The team rode across Iowa a 517 mile journey in less than a week. Thanks Ken, keep pushing!
Tyler Duncan, Hurlburt Field FL
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