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Military Spouse Appreciation Day

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Military spouses are adaptable, committed, courageous, the backbone of the military family and the key to the success of the Warfighter's military performance.

The military celebrates the Friday before Mother’s Day every year as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. In 1984, former president Ronald Reagan initiated this event to acknowledge and honor the commitment, courage, and sacrifice of the wives and husbands of our nation’s service members. Military spouses are the backbone of their families and are key to the success of the Warfighter’s military performance. President Barack Obama reflected in his 2010 Military Spouse Appreciation Day speech, “At the heart of our Armed Forces, service members’ spouses keep our military families on track.”

The Military Family Resource Center reports these statistics about military spouses and/or families:

  • Almost 60% the active-duty force has family responsibilities of a spouse and/or children.
  • 93% of the spouses of active-duty members are female.
  • 54% of the spouses are 30 years of age or younger; 72% are under age 36.
  • 56% of active-duty spouses are employed. 14% of active-duty spouses are Armed Forces members themselves.
  • 43% of active-duty members have children; the average number of children for active-duty members who have children is two.
  • Among active-duty members who have dependents, the average number of dependents is almost 2.5.
  • More than 50% of the children of active-duty members are seven years of age or younger.

(Source: 2008 Demographics: Profile of the Military Community, published by the Military Family Resource Center.)

For more information about President Obama’s speech, see:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-military-spouse-appreciation-day

Navy fitness through NOFFS

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This Navy fitness program focuses on basic and performance nutrition alongside physical training exercises designed to target operational tasks and reduce injuries.

The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series (NOFFS) provides the Navy with "best in class" physical fitness and nutrition performance information for both Sailors and Navy health and fitness professionals. NOFFS instructs individuals on how to train effectively and safely and how to make healthy nutrition choices in both shore-based and operational environments.

Based on worldwide mission requirements, which require the Navy to intensity its operational tempo, it’s imperative for Sailors to be physically fit. Physical fitness is an essential component of operational readiness and the ability to meet deployment schedules. Sailor resiliency and durability are the primary goals of the development and distribution of NOFFS.

The purpose of NOFFS is to provide a complete physical training program that will eliminate the guesswork for:

  • The individual Sailor who is participating in his/her personal physical training program
  • The Navy health and fitness professional who is interested in obtaining a ready-made comprehensive and biomechanically balanced individual or group physical training program.

    The goals of NOFFS are to:

    • Improve operational performance
    • Provide basic and performance nutrition guidance.
    • Decrease the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal injuries associated with physical training.

      NOFFS provides Sailors with an evidence-based performance tool that will address injury prevention by physically training the movement patterns of operational tasks. Rather than focusing specifically on the physical readiness test (PRT), NOFFS emphasizes how to specifically improve the functional performance of a Sailor during daily operations. This includes lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, aerobic/anaerobic demands, and body movement skills requiring balance, agility, and coordination. The focus of the project is to optimize operational physical performance and fueling for Sailors while preserving Navy combat power.

      For more information about NOFFS and other Navy Fitness initiatives, visit www.navyfitness.org.

      Lazy Cakes: Brownies – or something else?

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      With added melatonin to help you relax, this is no typical brownie.

      Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies claim to “have relaxation built into every bite.” One brownie (half is the recommended serving size) contains 3 mg of melatonin, a hormone made by the body but also available as a supplement that is often used to treat sleep disorders and jet lag. Selling these brownies as a dietary supplement allows the manufacturer to avoid FDA regulation for foods and beverages. The label warns consumers not to drive or operate heavy machinery and to consult your physician if you are taking medication or are pregnant or nursing; it also says the product is recommended for adults only. Buyers beware…this is no typical brownie.

      Army revamps its yearly physical fitness tests

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      The U.S. Army retools the yearly physical fitness tests with more practical exercises geared to really getting soldiers in fighting shape.

      The U.S. Army has retooled its yearly physical fitness test with more practical exercises geared to finding out if soldiers are in fighting shape. Along with other changes to the current test, troops will be required to run an obstacle course while dressed in full combat armor and dragging 180 pounds‹the equivalent of a human body.

      The new Army Physical and Combat Readiness Test is being introduced at eight installations, and if all goes well, will be rolled out Army-wide on October 1st.

      Click below to access the article.

      Army swaps sit-ups for combat-ready drills in new PT tests

      New York Times: "Serious dangers" of alcoholic energy drinks

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      A recent New York Times article reports that scientists are worried about highly caffeinated beverages like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster and Full Throttle, which are popular among teenagers and young adults.

      A recent New York Times article reports that scientists are worried about highly caffeinated beverages like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster and Full Throttle, which are popular among teenagers and young adults.  According to the article, the often bizarre combination of ingredients in these drinks prompted three researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Queensland in Australia to examine what is known — and not known — about the contents of these beverages, which are sold alongside sodas and sport drinks in supermarkets, drugstores and highway rest stops.

      Click below to access the article.

      Scientists See Dangers in Energy Drinks

      First Lady takes health initiative to Army base

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      First lady Michelle Obama called on parents, schools, workplaces and the military to combat America's obesity epidemic in a recent visit to Fort Jackson.

      First lady Michelle Obama called on parents, schools, workplaces and the military to combat America's obesity epidemic in a visit to Fort Jackson this past Thursday. As America's waistline has grown, finding young people fit enough to serve in the military has become a problem, U.S. Army officials told Obama during her three-hour visit.

      Ms. Obama is promoting the "Let's Move!" program to combat childhood obesity. And she met with Army personnel, from privates to a three-star general, to find out how the military is dealing with the problem and how solutions might be transferred to the general population.

      Click below to access the article

      White House initiatives to support military families

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      The White House has announced new initiatives to support military families in four key areas: overall well-being, education and development of military children, career advancement opportunities for military spouses, and improved childcare.

      Recently, the White House announced new initiatives to support military families in four key areas: overall well-being, education and development of military children, career advancement opportunities for military spouses, and improved availability of quality childcare. Multiple agencies have partnered to support these efforts with the following goals:

      • Focus on suicide trends to offer targeted preventive training and counseling to meet the mental health needs of military families;
      • Offer child care resources;
      • Combat homelessness;
      • Expand communication across rural communities;
      • Expand career opportunities for military spouses;
      • Expand access to financial aid and needs of military students; and
      • Expand facilities to help military families recover, integrate, and support their youth during and after deployment cycles.
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        Treadmills vs. elliptical machines – which is better?

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        A look at two gym favorites.

        Treadmill Elliptical Machines

        Reuters.com has an article that examines the advantages and disadvantages of treadmills versus elliptical exercise machines.

        Read the full article here.

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        Follow-up article questions the validity of military's blood test screening for concussions/TBI

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        Wired Magazine questions the Army's research on concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

        Doctor Analyzing X-Ray

        In the 10/18 In the Crosshairs, we linked to a story on  from CNN.com that reported on military medical researchers that have developed a blood test that can detect if someone has suffered a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury.

        In response, Wired.com has an article in their  Danger Room section that calls into question the research that has been done by the Army.

        Read the full article here.

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        Military medical researchers develop blood for screening concussions or mild traumatic brain injury

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        Can a blood test detect a concussion or TBI?

        MRI of Head

        CNN.com is reporting that military medical researchers have developed a blood test that can detect if someone has suffered a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury.

        Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a big concern for the military, particularly milder forms, because unlike TBI, milder injuries cannot be seen on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. Having this test would be useful not only for the military but for civilians as well.

        Read the full article here.

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