NORFOLK--Living a healthy lifestyle isn't just in one's own personal interest. When it comes to military personnel, it's in the national interest.
That was the word today from the U.S. Surgeon General to sailors aboard the USS Bataan.
The surgeon general, Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin, unveilled the "Health Promotion and Wellness" campaign.
The idea is to promote smart lifestyle choices to sailors and marines for their good, and for the country's.
The Navy and Marine Corps have already made great strides in pushing physical fitness, as is was seen Tuesday at the Naval Station Norfolk gym.
But you see it other places too, like the many ship and shore mess halls, where sound nurition has replaced fast food as a way for promoting healthy eating.
Perhaps nowhere is idea of wellness more in evidence than in the Navy's submarine fleet, where smoking has been not just discouraged, but banned entirely.
"The military itself, particulaly the navy and the marines, we want a fit work force," said Surgeon General Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin, " we want to make sure they're as active, as healthy and as fit as they can be."
Benjamin discussed the Navy and Marine Corps public health center's health promotion and wellness campaign with sailors aboard the USS Bataan in norfolk.
It focuses on seven areas, but a key one is smoke-free living. Smoking has not been permitted on any navy sub since december 31st, 2010.
"I think the transition has gone smoothly". says Rear Admiral, Michael Middleman, " I think sailors have realized the impotance of not smoking, the implications on their health and the fact that I can go out and run and I'm not short of breath, I'm not geting sick as often."
Says Benjamin, "The real incentive is being healthy and fit and having a healthy lie and hapyy lfie and enjoying life."
Hospital Corpsman First Class James Barrier says he intends to spread the word with his Bataan shipmates. "We're going to preach it to them whether they want to hear it or not. That's our job to make sure are healthy and stay healthy".