For the Navy, the culture of fitness has real, immediate, and positive impacts, including improved mission readiness and increased productivity. According to a May 2002 article in Military Medicine, the Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion per year on medical costs associated with obesity and loses an estimated 110,700 duty days valued at $13.6 million annually. The Navy's physical fitness program has had yet another makeover; it's up to Navy leadership now to determine whether it will succeed.
Leaders can and must influence culture by providing and enforcing policy and being role models to the men and women in their commands. They must embrace the program. The Navy has successfully shaped past behavior, driving down DUIs and alcoholrelated incidents by providing alternative activities, invoking heavy-handed consequences for unacceptable behavior, and deglamorizing a previously accepted part of Navy culture.