Being physically fit is essential for Soldiers in order to perform at the optimum level and to enhance mission readiness.

Soldiers from Public Health Activity Rheinland-Pfalz are working on not only their fitness, but also Esprit de Corps through participation in team sports.

These sports include volleyball, hockey, basketball and cricket.

"As a Soldier you have the responsibility to become the best person you can be and physical fitness is an integral part of that," said Sgt. Maj. Kevin Buie, Public Health Command Europe command sergeant major. "It's great to see that our Soldiers are not only in a good physical shape but are also team players."

Capt. Kathleen Stewart, officer in charge of the Wiesbaden Veterinary Treatment Facility, was recently selected for the All-Army Volleyball team.

Stewart, who has played volleyball for years, recently competed with the All-Army volleyball team in the Armed Forces Volleyball Tournament at Fort Bragg, NC. Ultimately the Air Force team took the title this year, but Stewart says being able to play with a team is really what she loves about the sport.

"I love that volleyball is a team sport and, much like the Army, truly requires everyone to work together to succeed," Stewart said. "Being part of a team makes victories that much more fun and helps cushion any losses with support from teammates. Playing on various teams has helped build my leadership and communication skills and pushes me to continue to work on my physical fitness."

Capt. Daniel Cole, officer in charge of Veterinary Services at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria-Hohenfels clinic, plays hockey with the Bayern Rangers, an Army hockey team out of the Grafenwoehr, Germany area.

Cole, and his team the Bayern Rangers, play local German teams throughout the year and typically attend two major tournaments, the Garmisch Armed Forces Tournament and an annual Czech Republic tournament which includes several Czech Police teams, a German Police team and the Rangers.

The Czech tournament took place last month, according to Cole. "We ended up competing and losing in the tournament, but had a great time. Hockey keeps me active and grounded."

Cole has played hockey most of his life, he says it helps him to find connections and work in a team setting which he enjoys.

Sgt. Damarcus Miller, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Wiesbaden Veterinary Treatment Facility qualified to play in the Installation Management Command-Europe varsity level basketball championships, representing U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.

And after successfully completing two trial camps, Sgt. Claudine Beckford, PHA R-P Supply and logistics NCOIC, was selected to represent the U.S.A. Women's Cricket Team and play in the upcoming International Cricket Council World Cup Qualifiers against Canada in May 2019.

Buie says that it is "outstanding that our Soldiers are excelling in team sports. Being fit not only improves your mental health, but also your quality of life and productivity."