Story by MC2 Michael Lopez, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3
OKINAWA, Japan – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 promoted general well-being among their Sailors during a command-wide Health Promotions Fair event on board Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 30.
NMCB-3 dedicated a full work-day to arming Seabees with information that is intended to help them meet their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health goals during the battalion’s deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
“We created this event to align with the commanding officer’s intent,” said Lt. Anthony Marin, the battalion dental officer and one of the event facilitators. “We want to kick of this deployment setting our Seabees up for success by giving them the right tools to meet all of their health goals starting from the very beginning of deployment.”
The fair kicked off with groups of Seabees rotating through several events for the first half of the day. The events included a Morale Welfare & Recreation event to highlight liberty opportunities that are offered to the Seabees, followed by personal trainer, medical, mental health, spiritual fitness, and nutrition events to address many of the areas that make up an individual’s overall health.
“I don’t think every topic resonated with each individual in the same way,” said Lt. Larry Jones, the command chaplain. “But I think they were all very appreciative of the exposure to the various topics. I think that just getting some more exposure to something you may have already heard before can serve as a good reminder to keep you on track with your personal goals, and if you’re receiving some new information along with what you may already know, I think that can reaffirm your own thoughts and help drive you to take your health seriously and set goals for success.”
The Health Promotions Fair facilitators, which include medical and dental staff, the command chaplain, command fitness leaders (CFL), and training staff, say they want Seabees to look at health as more than just exercising and eating a more balanced diet. They say this starts by Seabees becoming aware of all of the tools and services available to them to recognize and meet all of their individual health needs and goals.
“We’re trying to arm our Sailors with information for total fitness,” said Jones. “We didn’t want this to just be about physical fitness, or just another mental health or medical brief. We wanted to have the total package there, because we feel that our Seabees need to be spiritually fit as well as physically, mentally, emotionally, and medically fit, and have those resources to know how to get themselves there. That is what the day was all about.”
The fair wrapped-up with physical training assessment stations, which included body statistics and flexibility tests, as well as cardio and strength tests. Some of the tests included were body composition measurements, a sit-and-reach station, stretching techniques, a 40-yard dash, a 400-meter dash, pull-ups, and a timed plank exercise. The physical training assessments were led by NMCB-3’s CFLs to give Seabees a physical health baseline in order to tailor their fitness goals and efforts to their respective needs.
“The second half was actually a lot of fun because we were able to get some camaraderie going and have a fun competition between ourselves in our companies,” said Builder 2nd Class Caleb Boller, assigned to NMCB-3’s Charlie Company. “People also got to see where they were at and look at areas to improve for the next time we do this so we can see if we’re actually progressing towards our goals, which is good to see, because often times we only think of our goals in terms of improving on the physical readiness test we do twice a year.”
The Health Promotions Fair has long been on the battalion’s radar as leadership focus on the commanding officer’s intent of “building combat ready Seabees,” and investing in their Seabees and their personal wellness.
“As the senior leadership began drafting our deployment calendar, we knew that this event was an initiative that the commanding officer, as well as the rest of the leadership, wanted to dedicate an entire day to,” said Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Knotts, the command training officer. “This has been something that has been on our minds as far back as August, and we were really able to bring it all together after we got here to Okinawa and were able to reach out to all of our resources here.”
NMCB-3 is forward deployed throughout the Indo-Pacific region and United States ready to support major combat operations, theater security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Seabees provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces globally.
For more information about Seabees and NMCB-3, visit http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil or https://www.facebook.com/NMCB3/