GRF CoverGovernment Recreation & Fitness

Highlights of the November 2012 Issue

Fitness Chiefs Focus on Future


As we begin fiscal year (FY) 2013, Government Recreation & Fitness caught up with fitness chiefs from each service to discuss the state of fitness, the immediate forecast moving forward and what is on the horizon for the future.


Despite fiscally challenging times, the Army continues to strive to provide soldiers, families and civilians with a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service.

“Despite constrained resources and space, Army sports and fitness programs and services will continue to strive and adapt to meet the needs of those they serve,” says Darrell Manuel, chief, Army Sports, Fitness and Aquatics, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), G-9, Family and MWR Programs. “Army facilities and programs are critical to supporting mental, physical and spiritual readiness of soldiers and their families.” ...


The overall state of fitness programs and facilities in the Air Force is good, according to Margaret Treland, chief, Air Force Fitness & Sports.

“For example, 52 installations (57 percent) are fully compliant with DoD MWR standards, and another 27 (29 percent) are at least 90 percent compliant,” she points out. “To promote regular physical activity, 98 percent of Air Force installations offer an incentive or awards program for their customers.” ...


The overall state of fitness in the Marine Corps continues to remain strong, according to Cathy Ficadenti, branch head, Semper Fit and Recreation Programs, Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division.

“Our staff continues to deliver robust and comprehensive fitness and health promotion programs to our Marines, their families, retirees and civilian personnel,” she says. “The High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) program was launched Marine Corpswide Oct. 1, and we now have 21 operational HITT Centers with five centers under construction. Semper Fit Health Promotion is also working on developing a standardized approach to tobacco cessation, as the high incidence of tobacco use among Marines remains a great concern.” ...


According to Lisa Sexauer, Fitness, Sports and Deployed Forces Support program manager (N921), Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), the state of Navy Fitness is “continuously improving along with the expectation that optimal fitness is as much a part of 'mission readiness' as it is a part of each sailor's overall quality of life.”

She points out that OSD has continued to advocate and receive funding that has been passed to the services to improve the fitness infrastructure. ...

Read the complete MILITARY FITNESS ...

Van Zandt VAMC Expands Options with New Building


Veterans from 14 counties can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy at a new 8,500-squarefoot addition to the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center, Altoona, Pa. The facility offers physical medicine services to veterans of all generations, and serves as an example of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) strategic plan to enhance the veteran's experience and access to health care.

The one-story building features all new equipment, and is designed to offer veterans the highest quality health care available in the region.

“Today we are cutting the ribbon on a new generation of serving veterans of all generations.” says Francisco Vazquez, acting director of the medical center. “This impressive new facility shows our commitment to pay back part of the debt that a grateful nation owes to our veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us free. They deserve the very best health care available, and this is an example of VA health care at its best.” ...


Military Redefining Mission Readiness


No one questions the physical preparedness of our armed forces, as the training that service members go through today is at the tip of the spear. But what the Department of Defense (DoD) has realized over the past few years is that mission readiness is much more than strong bodies; it also requires strong minds, and the proper assessment and reconciliation of psychological, spiritual, family and social concerns as well. This new paradigm for what constitutes “fit to fight” is a long time coming, and addresses some key aspects of what it means for service members — and their families — to be able to endure long deployments and separation from loved ones, and heal together as a family once they come home.

With this shift to whole-body, or what DoD calls Total- Force fitness, armed services and Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities are embracing mind-body programs, including yoga and tai chi, and meditation- and yoga-based programs such as Integrative Restoration Therapy or iRest, all of which have far-reaching benefits helping people cope with life-changing challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, the U.S. Army Surgeon General Office has listed Yoga Nidra as tier one for treating chronic pain in military settings. ...