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Release No: 061-98
February 11, 1998


Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy Frank Rush has approved a new logo for the Department of Defense's initiative, "Operation Be Fit." In approving the logo, Rush said: "The physical fitness of our Service members has always been important because we clearly need to have a fit force ready to defend the nation. The fitness of their families and others who make up our military community is also important since we recognize that physical fitness leads to fewer illnesses and a higher level of well-being. Within the Department of Defense that means improved readiness, a higher quality of life, greater productivity, and lower health care costs. This is a great program. It's a rallying point around which our installation commanders can take action to get people up and get them active."

The design selected for "Operation Be Fit" was submitted by Liz Buchalter, a graphics designer within the Sales Directorate of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Her design includes the words "Be Fit" separated by a figure of a person with arms outstretched. The basic logo colors are red, white, and blue, although there will be some variations depending upon how the logo is used. The Department of Defense will soon release specific guidelines for use of the logo at military installations.

Design ideas were solicited from throughout the Department of Defense. Individuals were asked to submit proposed designs that: reflect the military community; project movement and action; appeal to those who need increased physical activity the most, especially those who are physically inactive; emphasize that regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle that promotes a better life; emphasize that physical activity can be fun; reflect the widest possible number of alternatives for physical activity, including recreation, sports, play, and everyday activity; and keep the "Operation Be Fit" goals in mind.

Buchalter said her design was a best effort "to meet all of the design concepts and project a clean, fresh image." Her design was one of a number of submissions reviewed by focus groups at select military installations to determine which design best fit the goals of "Operation Be Fit." After reviewing the comments made by these focus groups, a committee representing each of the military Services recommended selection of Buchalter's design.

"Operation Be Fit" is a Department of Defense program initiative designed to place renewed emphasis on the physical fitness of the entire military community. This initiative builds on the significant efforts already ongoing within each of the Services by combining expertise within the Department of Defense and by adding Department emphasis and endorsement to those endeavors. The goals of "Operation Be Fit" are to improve and expand program opportunities in fitness, sports, and recreation activities that involve physical activity and increase individual participation in physical activities within the military community. "Operation Be Fit" was initially announced in February 1997 by then Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy Fred Pang. Planning for the program was conducted in 1997, and 1998 is the year of action.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel Support, Families and Education Carolyn H. Becraft said: "'Operation Be Fit' has the ultimate objective of establishing the Department of Defense as a model for the nation in promoting physical fitness among employees and their families. The logo will serve as a symbol representing the commitment and personal changes being made by the members of the military community to become more physically active. It's a significant marketing tool for our installations to use to promote physical activity. I'm convinced that field commanders can see tangible results if they'll get personally involved and establish a strong 'Operation Be Fit' campaign at their installation. With this Department-wide emphasis, commanders have never had such a great opportunity to do so much in this area."

Rush concluded: "'Operation Be Fit' is good for the members of our military communities and it's good business. What we spend in fitness, sports, and recreation programs that lead to increased physical fitness is a sound investment in healthier, more productive individuals and communities."

Be Fit Logo

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