First session of DA civilian fitness program concludes

William Randle, one of the 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, and the Civilian Health Promotion Council Office's Civilian Health and Wellness Pilot Program participants, gets his pulse checked Aug. 30 during an assessment.

William Randle, one of the 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, and the Civilian Health Promotion Council Office’s Civilian Health and Wellness Pilot Program participants, gets his pulse checked Aug. 30 during an assessment. (photo by Danielle Davis)

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

Earlier this year, the 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, and the Civilian Health Promotion Council Office sponsored a Civilian Health and Wellness Pilot Program.

Participants underwent an evaluation Aug. 30 to determine their progress. The evaluation included a pulse monitoring and a three-minute step assessment.

“The program is designed for a contract between them and their supervisor. It gives them an hour three times a week during the duty day to go off and do their exercise,” said Capt. Michael Shay, the battalion operations officer.

The program is to be completed in a six-month period. The program is in accordance with Army Regulation 600-63, paragraph 5-2, he added.

“We monitor weight, body mass index and blood pressure. Those are three things that we can track for everyone involved,” said Shay.

Lt. Col. John Poole, the 3rd Bn., 81st Armor Regt., commander, hopes that the program will provide the motivation necessary to encourage the DA civilians to improve their sleep, nutrition and fitness.

“The Army values promoting a healthy lifestyle. This program extends the value beyond the Soldiers to the civilian workforce. Ultimately, it will help increase the quality of the readiness of the unit,” said Poole.

“Now that it’s come to an end, I feel that the program was well worth it. I didn’t see a huge weight loss, but that’s not what this program is about. Both my stamina and endurance have improved and I feel a whole lot better,” said James Armstrong.

Armstrong works as an administrator with the task development branch of the Directorate of Training and Doctrine. He was one of the first to sign up for the program. Before joining the program, he had trouble maintaining a healthy blood pressure. As a result of the program, his blood pressure level has improved.

“I was recently complimented by one of my doctors at the VA on it,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong chose to utilize his time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He partnered with Juan Fernandez, an information management officer for the Directorate of Training and Doctrine.

According to Armstrong, he and Fernandez walked or ran for multiple miles on these days. They began on Monday with a short, easier route and increased the pace throughout the week.

Armstrong plans to continue participating in the program.

“I saw it as an opportunity that the battalion had provided for us, as civilians, to stay healthy,” said William Randle, another one of the program’s participants.

Randle works as logistics management supervisor for the 3rd Bn., 81st Armor Regt.

“Having retired from the military, I want to better my physical condition and on my own it’s kind of hard to get motivated, but I hope this program will help,” said Randle.

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