FORT SILL, Okla. (June 13, 2013) -- The Department of Defense selected Fort Sill to be one of two Army installations in the Healthy Base Initiative.

The initiative is a demonstration project for Operation Live Well, a program aimed at making healthy living the easy choice and the social norm.

Brian Borda, with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, came to Fort Sill June 3-7, to see the programs the installation already has in place and to brief the command on the yearlong initiative to promote healthy living.

"This is a cost-neutral program in conjunction with the National Prevention Strategy, and Operation Live Well is a customized, local approach with a goal to improve the health and wellness of service members and their families by reducing obesity and decreasing tobacco use," said Borda. "Our vision of success is an installation that encourages good nutrition, active lifestyles and tobacco-free living.

"It's important to note that we are not building new programs. What we are doing is investing in time. We are looking to create an environment at installations to help people get well, relieve stress, eat better and exercise more," he said. "We are asking our commanders to invest in their service and family members by allowing them to work on improving their health and fitness."

The other Army installation selected for the initiative is Fort Bragg, N.C. In addition, there are 11 other sites including two from each service branch: one each from the Coast Guard, National Guard, the Reserve, the Defense Logistics Agency and the Headquarters, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

"Selection of sites followed a review that considered diversity in geography, mission, personnel and resources," said Borda. "In addition, we considered dining and fitness facilities, and other infrastructure necessary to support innovation. The key to all of these considerations is leadership that is committed to an active, healthy lifestyle."

He added Fort Sill has an extremely strong leadership who are very supportive of creating a healthy environment on-post.

"Fort Sill has created excellent relationships with community leaders and there is an existing and active emphasis on the Lawton-Fort Sill community wellness," he said. "The attitude of one community resonates throughout."

Brenda Spencer-Ragland, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said there are many good programs to encourage healthy, active lifestyles already in place on Fort Sill.

"The installation is working hard at providing great quality of life programs, and everyone is enthusiastic and committed to continual improvement across the community," she said.

Page last updated Thu June 13th, 2013 at 00:00