EL PASO, TX – A young infantryman may be a candidate for the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records after he spent nearly three months in the front leaning rest position in order to win a $200 bet with a platoon mate.
Corporal Alonso Ramirez, of 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Armored Division, achieved the historic feat earlier this month.
“A couple of buddies and I were hanging out drinking in the B’s after we got back from deployment, when we started talking about the worst time we ever got smoked,” Ramirez recalls. “One guy said his old squad leader made him do bear crawls across the parade field for an entire morning once. Then you know how it goes, you gotta top the other guy’s story, so another dude was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s nothing, one time I had to do burpee long jumps across the company area all day.’”
“Then my buddy from another squad, he started talking about how his squad leader put him in the front leaning rest, and just left him there all day. I told him, ‘I bet you I could do that for like 2000 hours, man, cause pushups ain’t nothing for me, I always max my PT test on pushups.’ So then the dude was like, ‘Alright, bro, you do it for 2000 hours, I’ll pay you 200 bones.’ So I said, ‘Done and done. Watch me.’”
According to his platoon mates, Ramirez then immediately walked out into the company area and assumed the front leaning rest position. True to his word, he stayed there.
At first, his company leadership viewed it as an irritation. “I remember asking him what in the world he was doing, and he said he was trying to win a bet,” said Staff Sergeant Brian McCarran, Ramirez’s squad leader. “But then, after I thought about it, I thought, you know, there could be some real motivational value in what the kid’s trying to do, so I just said to him, Carry on.”
The company commander and First Sergeant grew to share McCarran’s opinion. “At first, it was kind of a headache during formations,” recalls 1SG Franklin Herrick. “You know, you’d be trying to do morning accountability, and there’s this one random guy in the front leaning rest. The other platoon sergeants and platoon leaders kept asking me if he was in trouble for something. But, you know, after the first week I realized, hey, we’re on the verge of something really big here, so I convinced the CO to let it slide.”
Ramirez says that while eating, drinking, even sleeping in the front leaning rest was fairly straightforward, relieving himself proved to be a challenge: “If I had to piss, I just pissed myself, but if I had to [defecate], I had to roll to one side and let it kinda fall out.” As for showering: “Once a week a guy hosed me off.”
As the 2000-hour mark (83 days, 8 hours) approached, Ramirez admits, “I was completely smoked. My arms were shaking, I had nothing left, but word had got around the whole battalion, and everyone was there cheering me on.” As his friend and spotter counted down the final seconds along with the crowd, “it was like New Year’s. When they hit zero, I just collapsed.”
Guinness officials have confirmed that the achievement is verifiable. When asked what he planned to do with the $200, Ramirez replied, “Well, I’m not really sure.” His friend then bet him $200 he wouldn’t go bungee-jumping because Ramirez “has no balls.”
At press time, Ramirez had apparently taken the bet.