WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) had an addition to their team during a recent underway, as they sailed from Pearl Harbor back to their homeport of San Diego.
Navy registered dietitian Lt. Pamela Gregory embarked for the seven-day transit to train Sailors on the importance of healthy eating while underway, as part of a Navy initiative to get Sailors to think more about the effect of nutrition on their health and performance. Bringing registered dietitians like Gregory directly to the fleet greatly enhances Sailor access to nutrition education, which in turn increases medical readiness.
“The crew was very receptive to the nutrition training and information that was provided, plus individual counseling given,” said Gregory. “The Sailors signed up for counseling sessions in the afternoon, we held group classes on the Department of Defense ‘Go for Green 2.0’ program and the Healthy Living presentation was conducted with each department on the ship.”
The Navy Dietitian Support initiative, which was announced in NAVADMIN 160/18, is the result of a joint effort between the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel and the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery that authorizes commanders to request dietitians to temporarily join their commands to increase Sailors' knowledge about nutrition and health resources.
Gregory was requested to come aboard for the underway by Cmdr. Courtney Minetree, commanding officer of USS John Finn.
"Having Lt. Gregory onboard John Finn as part of the Navy Dietitian Support to Operational Forces initiative was an overall positive experience for the crew,” said Minetree. “In addition to conducting all hands training, she also provided individual counseling, focused sessions with our command fitness leaders, medical and food service teams, and integrated with the crew over meals, during PT and even a man overboard drill. Additionally, being underway for a week afforded her the opportunity to observe some of the methods we employ and challenges we encounter as a smaller ship in maintaining the well-being and operational readiness of our greatest asset, our Sailors, through nutrition and exercise."
While there was a lot of information presented to the crew, Gregory said there is one specific nutrition fact she thinks is especially important for the Sailors to remember.
“I'd say the most important information shared with them is that their genetics for family disease traits such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, et cetera, doesn't have to come out and it can be suppressed or delayed depending on the frequency and types of foods they eat,” said Gregory.
To learn more about nutrition education resources available to you, visit www.nutrition.navy.mil.
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