NEW YORK — A high school educational and fitness initiative will be an added enhancement to the fourth year of a U.S. Army and Arena Football League (AFL) partnership.

The initiative will be expanded nationwide after undergoing successful testing in five AFL markets during the off-season. AFL players and coaches and Army battalion officials will talk to high school students during P.E. classes about teamwork, fitness and exercise education. Students will participate in flag-football scrimmages. In-season player appearances with local battalion officials will continue at high schools.

“Our partnership with Arena Football has been successful in helping the Army connect with America,” Col. Thomas Nickerson, director of strategic outreach for the Army Accessions Command, said. “We're excited to see the partnership go beyond the arena and into schools and other Army programs. This provides the Army and AFL an opportunity to expand and build a greater awareness among both young Americans and those people who influence their decisions — parents, teachers, coaches and peers.”

The partnership will also continue the Army's sponsorship of the AFL's Ironman program and the AFL's continued involvement with the U.S. Army Spring Break Program in Panama City Beach, FL.