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DoD Announces Operation Be Fit

By Staff Sgt. Alicia K. Borlik
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 1998 – DoD's newest fitness initiative, Operation Be Fit, is getting a bigger boost at installations with the release of a resource kit.

DoD recently sent a limited edition of about 750 kits to directors of installation and ship morale, welfare and recreation offices worldwide. The kits contains posters, a "smart book" that details innovative physical activities, and ideas and information to increase fitness among service members, DoD civilian employees and their family members.

Operation Be Fit doesn't replace existing installation fitness programs, but complements and builds on them, said Carolyn Becraft, deputy assistant secretary of defense for personnel support, families and education.

"It's a comprehensive program that focuses on fitness needs of the entire community," she said. The goals are to involve the entire military community in a healthy lifestyle and to help MWR and fitness facility directors develop effective programming, she added.

Operation Be Fit began as a quality of life initiative. According to DoD surveys, Becraft said, "One of the top things [service members] want is good quality fitness opportunities. This generation is active and healthy. I think that's positive."

DoD recently surveyed 576 physical fitness facilities as part of the Operation Be Fit initiative. The survey revealed 22 percent of the facilities were in excellent condition, but many others were very old and needed renovations.

"Commanders can tailor Operation Be Fit to their needs," she said. "We hope [they] will use [the survey results] as a guide to program money where it needs to be -- to upgrade facilities and upgrade equipment."

Becraft's Office of Community Support Policy administers the program. The office phone number is 703-693-6184.

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