Keeping fit is important in any branch of the military. Sailors run the risk of obesity, joint problems, high blood pressure, or even multiple health problems that arise as they advance through the ranks, and their jobs lean towards management. Furthermore, laziness can strike anywhere, and it’s hard for sailors to avoid snacking, and other guilty pleasures in the high-stress environment of a shipboard life. But, the Navy promotes good health and comfort by offering gym time to all their sailors, even those located in the middle of the ocean! The Navy even hires a resident expert in fitness, aptly called the Fit Boss! He is in charge of keeping the equipment in good condition and offering advice to sailors who are trying to achieve their fitness goals while underway.
Ships, especially the larger vessels like carriers, are outfitted with multiple gyms throughout the entire ship. However, while space is limited, sailors often rotate their time around their schedule and even the dead hours when it’s emptier than usual to work out. Gym time is any time for a sailor, and even if this means losing out on sleep, the more dedicated sailors will try their best to sneak in as much of a workout as humanly possible. A few members of the crew will even wake up at three in the morning just to exercise their bodies, and later on, in the day find time to push in extra workout time. It’s incredible to see the dedication in this young men and women who want to keep their bodies in top physical conditions for various reasons.
But, why exactly is it so important to work out in a ship? It’s important to realize that naval vessels are designed for combat, as such if a ship were ever to be attacked; sailors would need to don their gear and fight for survival by putting out fires and plugging holes. In those cases, being in top physical form will assist sailors in enduring the stress these scenarios will create. No matter what the situation calls for, a sailor who’s been training their body for months will outlast other crewmates who have been loafing about simply doing their jobs. Yet, another aspect of working out is the bi-annual physical readiness test (PRT) in which sailors test their ability to run, do push-ups, and sit-ups.
While it’s true that some of the younger crew can sneak away with minimal exercise, the majority of the older sailors need to actively train in order to maintain conditioning. PRT’s are still held while underway, and sailors which don’t pass the exams are put on probationary training and mandatory workouts. The Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) affectionately called the fatty enlisted program (by a few members of the crew) carries a small stigma amongst sailors, but it does provide results. Missing out on the mandatory workouts will result in disciplinary actions and can be detrimental to a career if ignored. Yet, without it, a few sailors who are in need of motivation will slip through the cracks and otherwise not receive the motivation they need to succeed. At times, a few sacrifices must be made in order to maintain a healthy mind and body, which is why gym time is an important time of any naval career.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.