SAN DIEGO — To increase the likelihood of diagnosing and treating health problems early to maintain a stronger Naval force, the Navy is replacing its five-year physical exam with a yearly assessment. Overall, the health assessment program is expected to increase readiness and greater worldwide deploy-ability, according to the Navy.

The new program was implemented Feb. 16 and must be completed Navy-wide by August. Once the initial phases of the health awareness program have been completed, sailors will return to the medical department each year during their birth month recall to have another health assessment.

Members of Amphibious Group (CPG) 3 recently took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the new health awareness program. As part of the program, CPG 3's medical department brought in several health professionals to talk to the sailors about self-health awareness, inform them about daily calorie intake, healthy food choices, keeping cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and other preventive care issues.

“We want to get people medically ready and screen them before problems occur,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Brenda Quarles, the health awareness program's coordinator.