PEARL HARBOR, HI -- With the rollout of new Navy-wide physical readiness intiatives, Naval Station Pearl Harbor is increasing its efforts to help keep its sailors in shape, and it seems to be paying off.
According to Naval Station Pearl Harbor Command Master Chief Perry Bonarrigo, the base’s remedial program recently increased from three days a week to five, and it now includes not only a workout, but also diet information and individualized training opportunities.
"We went to five days a week so that people know that we’re serious, and they should be serious,” said Bonarrigo. “We had to do a round turn to get everybody involved, not by just doing remedial [physical testing], but also by offering them things at the remedial sessions that will help them, like diet and trainers.”
According to recent Navy requirements, sailors who do not attempt to maintain physical fitness standards will be processed for administrative separation. Starting in January 2006, commanding officers and officers in charge will be authorized to begin administrative separation of those sailors who fail the physical fitness assessment (PFA) three or more times in the most recent four years and also fail the fall 2005 PFA.
“Our numbers of failures are coming down, but we want to keep that trend,” said Bonarrigo.”
Bonarrigo attributed the decrease to a focus on remedial training along with the impact of the Return to Readiness Program, offered by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) at Pearl Harbor, as an additional tool to help Sailors stay fit.
“Return to Readiness is a program to get the sailors back into shape, so they can pass their PFA,” said Lisa Hansen, fitness specialist at MWR. “And if they don’t meet the standards for body composition, we try to help them lose the weight.”
The daily program is based on providing sailors with comprehensive cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength and endurance training. Each session aims to help the sailor burn as many calories as possible to aid body composition. It includes a variety of activities, such as running, cycling, push-ups and sit-ups, gym cycles and cardiovascular workouts.
“I think the program is a valuable resource for Sailors who need some additional help, because it helps to motivate them to get back into shape,” said Hansen.
Cmdr. Douglas Holderman, Naval Station Pearl Harbor executive officer, said he hopes the changes and variety of programs augment awareness and underline the importance of physical fitness.
“The goal is to give our sailors the help and opportunities they need to maintain their physical fitness,” he said.