MILLINGTON, TN — The Navy continued on course toward a wellness-oriented culture with the new Physical Readiness Program, as more than 70 Command Fitness Leaders (CFLs) arrived aboard Naval Support Activity Mid-South in December for the CFL course in mid-January. Rob Danielson, the deputy program manager for the Navy's Physical Readiness Master Chief who led the team of Navy Personnel Command instructors, said the training gives CFLs the practical skills necessary to return to their command, afloat or ashore, and conduct an effective program.

As of July 2006 the Navy will require mandatory administrative separation processing for any sailor who has failed the physical fitness assessment (PFA) three or more times in a four-year period and failed the Spring 2006 PFA or a subsequent PFA. Navy Personnel Command experts say changes to the instruction were necessary to create a “Culture Of Wellness” — the key to mission readiness and operational effectiveness.

Proper nutrition, weight management, physical conditioning and test safety are included in the CFL curriculum. Additionally, CFLs receive training in the Physical Readiness Information Management System, the Navy's official record for tracking Navy-wide physical fitness assessment results.

Part of a CFL's responsibility is to become thoroughly familiar with the Comprehensive Fitness Program, which is designed to prepare a sailor to meet the minimum requirements for active duty. Danielson said it was very important for sailors to stay with the program.

“If they do, they will have the best opportunity to perform well on the next PFA,” he said.

The PFA consists of a body composition assessment and the Physical Readiness Test (PRT). The Comprehensive Fitness Program is divided into three phases covering 24 weeks. The foundation of the program is based on sound cardiovascular and strength training techniques. This is where the CFL comes into play, Danielson said.

“The leadership and training received in this course will help to gradually bring sailors into peak condition for passing the PFA. The Navy is moving from a fitness era to one of wellness. Sailors need to be both healthy and physically fit in order for the Navy to meet its mission objectives,” said Danielson.

CFLs provide the tools and motivation to help their shipmates stay with the program, succeed physically and maintain good health.

One of the students, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Fransisculou Malone of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 85 in San Diego, knows exactly what she plans to do after returning to her command.

“My goal out of this course is to try and help my shipmates who are not in such great shape, get in better shape and live longer by doing so,” she said.