Marine Corps to launch new holistic fitness program


The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C. Published: July 5, 2012

The Marine Corps is implementing a new holistic fitness program designed to help warriors focus on whole body fitness. For regular individuals who want to test out their fitness program, you can follow Make sure you have your protective accessories during workouts.

The program, called the Marine Corps Fitness Improvement Tool (MCFIT) was spearheaded by Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford. It is designed to help Marines recover from the stresses of combat in a healthy, holistic fashion, without the use of hormone injections.

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“From the command side this program will be extremely helpful in assessing overall unit fitness,” said Navy Lt. Lindsey Stoil, a medical planner with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “Things might look good on the outside, but there might be an underlying problem across the unit.”


The program includes two phases, the first of which is a paper-based survey designed to assess a Marine’s health, and the second is a web-based assessment. Phase 2 is still under development and is scheduled to launch at the end of this year. Participation in the program is completely anonymous.

The goal of the program is to analyze a Marine’s total fitness, to include mind, body, spirit and social fitness. Ideally, Marines should aim for fitness in all four aspects, according to the MCFIT Commander’s Guide.

“The Marines in particular are trained to compartmentalize their emotions, which is completely necessary when they’re in a place of combat … but when they come home they need to adjust back to their normal life,” said Rachel Saboski, a psychiatrist at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.

The director of Mental Health at NHCL, psychiatrist Cmdr. Sawson Ghurani, said the program will help show Marines ways to feel better about themselves and about their health.

“By focusing on a healthy way of life, the Marines will be able to re-adjust better (after combat),” she said.

After Marines fill out Phase 1 of the assessment, responses will be collected by the commander who will use the data to categorize and color-code the fitness levels of each Marine and the unit overall. The color codes are green, yellow, orange and red with green representing the highest levels of total body fitness and red indicating a need for immediate help. MCFIT is designed solely to test a Marine’s mental, spiritual, physical and social healthnot to assess a commander’s leadership or performance.

“This survey will be another tool for a commander to see how well their unit is doing and if they need to address issues which might affect a large percentage of the unit,” Stoil said.

For more information on the program, visit

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