By EA3 Lawrence Romang, NCG 2 Public Affairs
HM1 (SCW/FMF/SW) Anthony Rice (far right), medical LPO, NCG 2, uses a mannequin to teach the importance of dressing in layers at a hypothermia awareness station during the command Winter Safety Stand down, Gulfport, Miss. Photo by MCC Athena Blain
Recently the Navy began a campaign to improve the health, wellness and fitness of its Sailors. Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2, based in Gulfport, Miss., is on board.
NCG 2 is taking an active approach with an upcoming health kiosk and bulletin board on the quarterdeck. This also extends to deploying battalions. NCG 2 offers various training programs such as reintegration for battalions returning from deployment. The Medical department, Chaplain and Command Physical Fitness leaders give briefs, targeting specific health-related issues.
One recent briefing, led by Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Yee, group/regimental surgeon, NCG 2, focused on sport supplements. According to Yee, supplements do not necessarily have to be approved by the Food and Drug Association; users should be responsible for knowing the ingredients. Keep in mind the recommended dosage, and remember what works for one person might not work for you. Listen to your body and act accordingly, said Yee.
Suicide prevention is also a major focus for NCG 2. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center reported that suicide was the number one cause of death among military members in 2012 and 2013. While the percentage of suicide in the military is slightly less than in the civilian sector, this is still a troubling statistic that is being addressed by the command. Training focuses on intervention, response and reporting, with an emphasis on knowing the people who work around you so you will be able to detect early warning signs.
“Trust the chain of command, and lean on one another,” said Capt. John Adametz, commander, NCG 2.
While NCG 2 strongly promotes wellness, it also promotes fitness. Along with a rigorous tri-weekly physical fitness program, NCG 2 also offers a strengthening program on off days.
With the Fleet and Marine Corps Health Risk Assessment Annual Report announcing that 64 percent of Navy respondents indicated being overweight, there is a real risk for service members to fail their Body Composition Assessment (BCA). It only takes three failures in a four-year span to be discharged from the Navy.
Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) is an intense program designed to help Sailors reach their physical fitness goals. FEP is a voluntary program for people who can pass the Physical Readiness Test (PRT); however it is mandatory for those who failed their last PRT or their Body Composition Assessment (BCA). Specifically, FEP is designed to push those Sailors who are in danger of damaging their own careers. Success comes only if the individual is willing to work hard and take advantage of the program.
The FEP program, while underutilized, is a good program that works with individual goals.
“Everyone here has different goals, so we individualize workouts,” said Chief Gunner’s Mate
(SW) Christopher Davy, command fitness leader NCG2. “We work with them when designing the workout; their options matter.”
The FEP program branches out to workouts that may not be typical for command physical training (PT), such as monthly spin classes and Focus T25 (a vigorous video-led workout). The FEP program also has a monthly nutritional class that teaches proper dieting and promotes healthy living. Tobacco cessation – kicking the smoking habit – is another resource the command offers.
“Nobody joins the Navy to sit around. Keep them busy, happier,” said Ademetz. “Statistics show that retention is high when Sailors are challenged. Focus on well-being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”