MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
With a deep inhale, she lets the air flow through her lungs. Tightening her grip, she holds on to the bar of weights, weighing more than her. Gripping the bar as tight as possible, she then pushes the bar above her head and into the air. With her muscles trembling and giving everything she has, she pulls it down to her chest and back up in the air again.
1st Lt. Jennifer Silvers, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 material control officer, motivates her Marines by mentally and physically challenging herself and expecting her Marines to follow her example. She has a high physical fitness test and combat fitness test score, has a brown belt and is able to do 20 pull ups.
“She is the type of officer who motivates me to want to submit my Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program package,” said Sgt. Jesse Beaubrun, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 flight equipment non-commissioned officer in charge.
She went to Beaubrun’s Marine Corps Martial Arts Program class even though he warned her how challenging it would be. She showed up every day and never gave up.
“She stays involved in what her Marines are doing,” Beubrun said. “She comes to physical training with us regularly and asks us how we’re doing.”
Silvers gets up early every day and weight lifts in her at-home gym for 45 minutes to an hour and when she’s training for a competition she goes a second time in the evening.
Silvers was always athletic, in high school she played soccer, basketball, cross country and track. But even in high school, she was only 110 pounds and felt frail. After she started college, Silvers became interested in nutrition and learning what foods were right for her.
After high school, Silvers majored in business sports management and minored in nutrition at the University of Florida. Silvers owned a personal training business while in college. Straight out of college, she decided to join the Marine Corps as an officer to gain leadership experience and development, overcome physical challenges and gain educational opportunities.
“I wanted to impart my knowledge to other people and help them reach their goals of losing weight, gaining muscle and getting stronger,” Silvers stated.
Silvers became interested in weightlifting when she was in high school after watching the movie The Terminator and seeing the lead female role bulging with muscles. She admired the character and thought she looked strong, athletic and admirable and wanted to be more like her.
After Silvers began picking up weights she saw fast results and decided it was something she’d want to continue. Since she has started weightlifting, she has felt more energetic, her body feels stronger and she has stronger mental endurance.
“Some females worry that they are going to get big if they weight lift, but they won’t if they lift five to six heavy repetitions instead of more lighter repetitions to contrary belief in the fitness industry,” Silvers stated. “Then they’ll develop muscle fibers and tone as opposed to their muscles swelling from fluid retention. Weightlifting and good nutrition not only makes me feel physically accomplished, but also mentally accomplished and I’m satisfied when I meet my goals, like getting on stage. Nutrition is the key to any exercise program.”
Silvers stays involved in her Marines’ careers by participating in physical training regularly with them, offering advice on career decisions and tips on their fitness reports.
According to Silvers, people should study scientific research before creating a diet and workout plan and stay consistent with it.
“She is very disciplined about weightlifting like any other body builder,” said 1st Lt. Adriana Darocacosulich, the Marine Aircraft Group 31 adjutant. “It is a healthy way of living especially with the food aspect of it. She is careful with what she eats and has to measure everything.”
Silvers has competed in four competitions and plans to continue participating in weightlifting competitions as well as her career in the Marine Corps.