Makin Island to Kick Off Biggest Loser Competition 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Princess L. Brown, USS Makin Island Public Affairs  
USS MAKIN ISLAND, At Sea - The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) will kick off the 2014 "Biggest Loser" competition March 4.

The competition is sponsored by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division to help promote health and fitness onboard Makin Island.

"This is an opportunity for crewmembers to accept the challenge of losing weight, while paving the way to lead a new and healthy lifestyle," said Kristen Venoy, Makin Island's MWR 'fun boss.' "The Navy and the USS Makin Island are always striving to promote a culture of fitness. This is one way we encourage those to strive towards their fitness goals."

Sailors who participate in the program will be committing to attending two fitness classes per week, two health seminars a month, weekly weigh-ins and bi-weekly photos to document each Sailors' progress, with an added incentive of winning $500.

Makin Island's Chiefs Mess and command fitness leaders (CFL) will be working with Venoy to help enhance the fitness climate within the command.

"Physical fitness is an essential and critical component of readiness," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AW/SW) James Williams, Makin Island's CFL. "We want to encourage the entire crew to pursue a higher level of personal fitness and a greater concern for their own well-being."

According to Venoy the program is designed to promote fitness, as well as be a support group for the Sailors.

Each Sailor will have a mentor who assists with their progression through the program. The mentor may be a CFL, assistant CFL, or personal trainer.

"The 'Biggest Loser' competition will play an important role in helping promote the 21st century Navy and Marine Corps initiative with an emphasis on physical readiness standards," said Williams. "The goal is not only to lose weight, but to promote an awareness of health standards for a better quality of life amongst our Sailors."

Commissioned in 2009, Makin Island is the Navy's newest Wasp-class amphibious assault ship capable of utilizing surface and air assets to move Marine forces ashore. The ship is named in honor of the daring World War II raid carried out by Marine Raider Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion, on Japanese held Makin Island Aug. 17-18, 1942. LHD 8 is the second ship to bear the name "USS Makin Island."

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