FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Warrior Transition Unit conducted a "Health and Wellness" town hall meeting Jan. 17 at Vanguard Gym to weigh in and start the unit's "Biggest Loser" contest which continues through March.

Unit leaders organize town hall meetings to provide Soldiers and their family members with information on important issues facing the organization.

"We host these meeting monthly to determine and assess our command climate as well as check on our Soldiers and their families," said Maj. Lisa Yanity, WTU commander.

"Our unit is very unique," Yanity said. "We are set up to help Soldiers transition back to military service or achieve their veteran status. But in doing so we need to make sure our service members understand they are still a part of a military organization, and there are standards and regulations that we must follow -- which is why the contest is one way the WTU can come together and support each other with weight loss."

The Army has always been keen on health, nutrition and overall Soldier well-being. And the military is just one of a many organizations to celebrate March as Health and Nutrition Month.

"There are three main pillars of fitness and readiness that the Army has always instilled in the force -- spiritual, emotional and physical awareness," said Sgt. Maj. Vincent Bond, Moncrief Army Community Hospital command sergeant major. "And physical ability is directly related to nutrition. What we eat gives us the fuel needed to perform our duties as warfighters. (This) is a part of the performance triad consisting of activity, nutrition and sleep."

"Good healthy diets are important to a Soldier's lifestyle," he said. "And in order for us to continue being an elite force, we must follow the principles and guidelines given to remain healthy."

The WTU also asked Moncrief Army Community Hospital's Nutrition Care Division to offer pointers to Soldiers who are participating in the competition.

"I spoke to them about basic nutritional health," said 1st Lt. Jordan DeMay, MACH chief installation dietetics and Patient Center Medical Home dietitian. "And I provided information on self evaluation and (the Soldiers') diet and activity. I wanted the Soldiers to know and understand that they needed to establish good goals aimed at improving behaviors related to their health."

Currently, 123 Soldiers are assigned to the WTU. She said she wanted to give everyone able to participate in the event the opportunity to do so.

"We are a very adaptable unit," she said.

"Everyone, regardless their injury, can take part in the competition," Yanity said.

"It is our responsibility to make sure our Soldiers are positively engaged in activities geared toward them staying healthy," Yanity said.

Page last updated Thu January 31st, 2013 at 15:49