U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY – The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) emphasizes healthy eating and nutrition habits during Navy Nutrition Month.
As stated in NAVADMIN 051/13, the purpose of Navy Nutrition Month is “to increase awareness of food literacy and reinforce a unit culture where ‘the healthy choice is the easy choice.’” Peleliu’s food service department has already taken steps to ensure
Sailors and Marines have healthy options.
“With the new [Physical Fitness Assessment] standards out, obviously everybody wants to be fit,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Joshua Smith from Redding, Penn. “We help by using portion control. Our meals are mandated by the Navy dietitian guidelines and, as long as service members eat what we give out, they shouldn’t need to change anything.”
Health-conscious Sailors and Marines are encouraged to seek a nutritional diet as eating poorly can affect the workplace. “If you’re feeling sluggish, it can affect your operational risk management and safety awareness, because you’re mind is productively going slower than usual,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class George Busto, Peleliu’s health promotion coordinator. “Proper nutrition and eating habits will get you the energy your body needs.”
Peleliu offers a healthy assortment of options for Sailors and Marines. This includes a full salad bar, as well as healthy entrée alternatives like grilled chicken breast and seasoned fish fillets. Service members can snack with fruit such as apples, oranges, or bananas on the mess decks after regular meal hours.
“I can guarantee no other ship in the fleet right now does what we do,” said Smith. “On this deployment, we have never once run out of fresh fruit or vegetables. That’s the biggest hurdle we have to cross, trying to keep everybody healthy.”
Crew members have many resources for information on nutrition and workout tips available, including their departmental assistant command fitness leader (ACFL).
“I get people who ask me what I do for abs. The first thing I tell them is that it starts with diet,” said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Arnold Villarreal, from McAllen, Texas, ACFL for engineering department. “Stay away from sodas, candy, chocolate bars. It’s important because seeing results will make you feel better about yourself.”
March has been designated as Navy Nutrition Month to coincide with National Nutrition Month. At-sea commands, such as Peleliu, are encouraged to promote nutrition and raise awareness in a fleetwide push toward a healthier Navy.
Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.