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News: Commander rewards top PFA performers, promotes Navy culture of fitness

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Commander rewards top PFA performers Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael

Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, left, commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, presents a certificate to Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Mitchell, originally from Chicago, for outstanding physical achievement in the cycle-1 2013 Physical Fitness Assessment. NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion's home port is in Gulfport, Miss. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael)

GULFPORT, Miss. – Ten sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, were awarded certificates by Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, on March 12th in recognition of outstanding physical achievement and exceptional dedication during the first cycle of the 2013 U.S. Navy official Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA).

The certificates were presented in front of the entire battalion during morning quarters to the top female and top male PFA performer in each company.

Awarded were: Ensign Caroline A. Perruci, from Marietta, Ohio; Builder 1st Class Duran Garcia, from Sundown, Texas; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jenesia A. Ordonia, from Girardeau, Mo.; Construction Mechanic 1st Class David A. Sitone, from Kismet, N.Y.; Builder 2nd Class Megan E. Dunton, from Columbus, Ohio; Builder 2nd Class Belinda T. Walker, from Chicago; Builder 3rd Class Remie Acosta, from Lawrence, Mass.; Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Layne W. Duras, from Hillsboro, Ore.; Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Mitchell, from Chicago; and Builder 3rd Class Anna L. Parcher, from Jamestown, Pa.

This ceremony came one week after Aguayo treated 23 Seabees to lunch, fulfilling a promise made when she challenged her battalion to beat her run time on the recent one and a half -mile Physical Readiness Test (PRT) portion of the PFA.

“I challenged my Seabees to beat my run time to incentivize them to push themselves and set the example for others to follow,” said Aguayo.

The time to beat was nine minutes, 46 seconds, and 30 of the battalion’s roughly 580 men and women met Aguayo’s challenge although some of them were not available to attend the lunch.

With a run time of 8:42, Builder Constructionman Apprentice Andrew T. Door, originally from Billings, Mont., laid claim to having the fastest run time in the battalion. Door was followed closely by Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Mitchell, from Chicago, and Steelworker Constructionman Joshua A. Sallee, from Paris, Ky., with run times of 8:46 and 8:47 respectively.

During the lunch, Aguayo encouraged her Seabees to mentor and motivate others who might have difficulty meeting the Navy’s PFA standards stating that, “often it just takes someone who cares with a little extra motivation to get folks on the right track.”

Aguayo’s challenge serves as an example of the level of importance the Commanding Officer places on the physical readiness of her battalion.

“There is no denying it; Physical Fitness is essential to our mission readiness,” asserted Aguayo, who cites the physical demands placed on Seabees during NMCB-11’s recent deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 as an example.

“Our Seabees endured extreme temperatures, physical labor with the additional weight of all our protective gear, and missions that often lasted more than 18 hours straight with minimal breaks. These environmental demands required our Seabees to be in top physical shape with the endurance to withstand such pressures on the body.

“Additionally, exercising is proven to help manage stress, which is ever so present in our line of work,” concluded Aguayo.

According to Chief Builder Daniel Sherman, NMCB-11’s Command Fitness Leader (CFL), 19 percent of the Seabees in the battalion improved their overall PFA score enough in cycle-1 of 2013 to move into the next higher category as compared to the previous cycle’s PFA results.

Additionally, the battalion’s PFA failure rate improved from 10 percent in the previous cycle to four percent in this most recent cycle. Sherman, a native of Pittsburgh, attributed multiple reasons for the improvements including “a well-structured Fitness Enhancement Program which focuses on properly counseling members on dietary issues and ways to improve personal fitness.”

“A targeted approach to weight reduction through quality training routines has paid huge dividends,” said Sherman.

Another program he credited is Ship Shape which, according to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center official website (http://www.med.navy.mil/), provides active-duty personnel with basic information regarding nutrition, stress management, exercise and behavior modification techniques to lower and maintain an acceptable body weight within Navy Standards.

Sherman also praised the command leadership and the Assistant CFLs (ACFLs).

“The ACFLs do a phenomenal job structuring the company-level work out routines, motivating personnel and ensuring that they put forth maximum effort each session. They are critical in assisting me with carrying out the commanding officer’s intent when it comes to physical readiness.

“They are the ones that are implementing our unique fitness approach down to the deck plate level and are largely responsible for our command success,” stated Sherman.

Sherman also mentioned implementation of the Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series (NOFFS) as a key to success in physical readiness. Perhaps the most fundamental key to the physical readiness of any command is in this statement Sherman made:

“In order to achieve overall success there has to be a true culture of fitness implemented and practiced on a daily basis. Leaders at all levels have a unique responsibility to encourage physical fitness among members and to push them to do their absolute best in this critical area of readiness.”

It seems that this ‘culture of fitness’ has been implemented in NMCB-11.

“Monthly mock PFA's result in fewer official failures,“ claimed Yeoman 1st Class Maria A. Manchion, an ACFL in the command, in reference to the practice of testing individuals once per month to assess physical readiness as opposed to waiting until the semi-annual official PFA cycle. “NMCB-11's PT program is very aggressive, and it benefits all of us.” Manchion is originally from Parkersburg, W.V.

CFLs, ACFLs, and leaders at all levels within the command continue to maintain the intensity and daily practice of physical readiness by carrying out the commander’s intent and a proven approach toward consistent improvement and physical fitness.

NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss.


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This work, Commander rewards top PFA performers, promotes Navy culture of fitness, by PO1 Jonathan Carmichael, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.12.2013

Date Posted:03.14.2013 08:58

Location:GULFPORT, MS, USGlobe

Hometown:BILLINGS, MT, US

Hometown:CHICAGO, IL, US

Hometown:GULFPORT, MS, US

Hometown:NORFOLK, VA, US

Hometown:PARIS, KY, US

Hometown:PARKERSBURG, WV, US

Hometown:PITTSBURGH, PA, US

Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US

Hometown:TEMPE, AZ, US

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