News: Ironhorse integrates 'Go For Green'
Story by Sgt. Bailey Kramer
FORT HOOD, Texas – When asked what a soldier is you’ll get a lot of the same common answers: hero, warrior and service member.
As true as all those are, what people may not realize is nutrition plays an important role in the life and activities of a soldier. In order to help promote Army health and nutrition, the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence designed a program known as “Go For Green” in 2010.
According to the JCCoE, “the ‘Go For Green’ program is a nutritional recognition labeling system providing the soldier with a quick assessment of the nutritional value of menu offerings and food products in the dining facility.”
The 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is not exempt from this program.
“This is a great program,” said Red Springs, N.C. native, Warrant Officer Enrico Leak, the Ironhorse food service adviser. “It ensures soldiers have a well balanced nutritional diet.”
To help soldiers properly choose foods, the “Go For Green” program created a color coding system of green (eat often – high performance), yellow (eat occasionally – medium performance) and red (eat rarely – low performance). The dining facilities have posters and menu cards for serving lines providing an explanation of the system.
Buckhannon, W. Va., native 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Schmitt, a human resources officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop of the Ironhorse Brigade says the program helps soldiers pick a leaner option when choosing what to eat.
“For people who regularly eat in the dining facility, they are limited to what the dining facility serves,” said Schmitt. “The program allows them to still eat healthy given the restricted environment.”
The program, according to Leak, offers a better variety of nutritional foods than before.
“It is a well-rounded, designed menu,” Leak added. “It helped decrease foods with fattier elements and added leaner meats and more vegetables.”
According to the JCCoE website, “menu planning is a key vehicle to deliver the nutrition soldiers need to perform optimally, recover rapidly from stress, illness and injury, and remain healthy and alert for the long term.”
Schmitt said the labeling system definitely helps her decide what to eat when eating in the dining facility.
“I went on a fried chicken and sweet potato day and the label said very high calorie and fat content, so I opted for something healthier,” said Schmitt.
Proper nutrition not only helps keep soldiers healthy, but will improve their overall readiness and grow strong bones, Leak said.
“I know I have said it, but I really like this program,” Leak concluded. “I think it is good for our soldiers and, if used properly, very beneficial to our soldiers.
The program is designed to follow Army Regulation 30-22 The Army Food Program, AR 40-25 Nutrition Standards and Education, AR 600-9 The Army Weight Control Program and AR 600-63 Army Health Promotion.
For more information on the “Go For Green” program visit www.quartermaster.army.mil or download the “Go For Green” application for your smart phone.