Story by SSG Shawn Morris on 08/07/2018JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. The U.S. Army Reserve's 99th Readiness Division kicked off the "Double Eagle" Fit for Life pilot program Aug. 4, with an opening ceremony at Timmermann Center.
The program is designed to help Soldiers who are not meeting the Army height and weight program and physical fitness standards, while also enhancing Army Reserve readiness and retention.
"The 99th Division has been chosen to run the Double Eagle' Fit for Life program to help first-term Soldiers who are having life struggles with certain Army standards and are not able to re-enlist," explained Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Lombardo, 99th DIV(R) command sergeant major.
"We are going to work with these Soldiers for 16 days to give them a program of nutrition, fitness, and resiliency as well as tactical skills to try to help them meet that goal of re-enlisting," he added.
F2L offers training in physical readiness, fitness, nutrition, finance, and Soldier skills such as first aid, land navigation, marksmanship, and resiliency. F2L also gives Soldiers access to subject-matter experts such as master fitness trainers, master resilience trainers, drill sergeants and Department of the Army civilians.
Soldiers who meet standards following the two-week F2L event have the opportunity to receive $10,000 and $20,000 re-enlistment bonuses depending on the length of their new contract.
"The Soldiers who are attending want to be here, they want to stay in the Army and continue to serve our nation," said Sgt. Maj. Al Almeida, the 99th DIV(R) special projects manager. "My three objectives are to motivate them and let them know this is a good thing for them, to educate them on how to eat properly and set up a meal plan, and to make them resilient."
As an integral part of the Total Army, the Army Reserve which provides 20% of the Total Army's operational force must remain ready to provide support when called upon by the nation. F2L helps support that requirement.
"The goal we're trying to get to is to have these Soldiers stay in the United States Army Reserve and help make it the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in the nation's history," Lombardo said.