FORT KNOX, Ky. –
Everyone who earns the title of American Soldier has a unique story of how they got there, and this journey was no different for Pvt. Torben Scott, from Cody, Wyoming, who accepted this challenge to not only change his life, but the lives of those around him.
In October 2020, Scott walked into his local recruiting station, sat down with station commander Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Hulbert for an interview. Hulbert informed Scott that he was disqualified because of his body composition, but offered Scott the opportunity to participate in Future Soldier training on Thursdays where he could focus on improving his physical fitness.
Scott attended Future Soldier training every week “even when he would regress or not be moving forward, he still came,” Hulbert said.
Hulbert, a recruiter since 2016, is used to having people walk through the doors saying that they’re going to work to lose the weight. Scott is the first one that’s ever kept his word.
Why? To follow in his father’s footsteps who served in the U.S. Army as a cavalry scout.
Scott was about four or five years old when he went to welcome his dad home from deployment. Seeing him walk out in his full gear left an impression on Scott.
“As a kid, just seeing that it was something totally awesome and I was like ‘I’m gonna be like my dad.’”
Scott was determined to lose the weight in order to join, but he found one aspect to be more difficult than the rest.
“I had come here with a bunch of diets I was trying out, but me being who I was back then didn't really work out,” Scott said. “I cut out a lot of sugar, bread and soda. The hardest part for me was the nutrition standard of being in the military and this journey that I've taken on.”
Together, Scott and Hulbert came up with a fitness regimen and Scott joined Anytime Fitness where some of the coaches took him under their wing.
Inspired by his initiative, Scott’s entire family went through a lifestyle change.
“You could see his mom pushing him to do better, she would organize his meals and make him go to the gym,” Hulbert said. Scott continued to attend Future Soldier training and his family got in that same mindset. They embarked on this journey together, “his mom really drove him the rest of the way.”
Hulbert continued to check on Scott and get progress updates. When he would regress and turn back to old habits, Hulbert called him into the station to talk and figure out the next step.
Scott admitted that sometimes he doubted himself thinking that someone like him would never get into the Army, but what started with the support of one person spread to the support of the whole community.
“A lot of people around town knew him or would see him running or walking and they checked in with me to see how he was doing,” Hulbert said. “Seeing the community kind of help him out and embrace him was also really cool.”
Scott ended up losing 130 pounds to achieve his goal and ultimately his dream to join the Army. He enlisted as an infantryman in August 2022 and received a $25,000 bonus and his first duty station of choice, Germany. After graduating from One Station Unit Training, Scott and his father developed a new connection.
“It was the first time in a long time that I saw my dad cry and that made me happy,” Scott said. “For a long time, I was trying to earn my father’s approval, and he told me he loved me and that I didn’t need his approval for anything. That made me cry.”
Scott is grateful for the support he received throughout his journey.
“If it wasn’t for my recruiter, my mom and my coaches at my gym, if they didn't push me and call me out on some stuff, I would never have been here,” Scott said.
He not only wanted to become a Soldier, but he wanted to become a “better man.”
“I would say that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind to it,” Scott said. “The only thing that's stopping you is you.”