Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Complete with saunas, a juice bar and a racquetball court, the new state-of-the-art gym at U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command’s Stone Bay headquarters offers a workout experience as relaxing as it is rigorous. But unlike other gyms aboard Camp Lejeune, this one caters specifically to the requirements of MARSOC’s Performance and Resiliency program (PERRES).
“The PERRES program is a holistic way of improving the performance of the Marines here at MARSOC, across the physical, mental and spiritual domains,” said Lt. Col. Greg Ryan, MARSOC’s performance and resiliency officer. “The new gym houses a lot of our PERRES staff. We have physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and a nutritionist. We wanted to provide our Marines and Sailors with these services,” he said.
In 2009, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) directed MARSOC to establish a method for increasing the physical performance of its Marines and Sailors while simultaneously accelerating their physical recovery and reducing injury and illness. MARSOC’s PERRES is a program that focuses on training the military athlete through exercise, physical rehabilitation and nutrition.
“Humans are more important than hardware,” said Ryan. “That’s why we’ve equipped our personnel with world class strength training and rehabilitation through physical therapy and nutritional advice at this gym.”
Some equipment was purchased specifically for use by MARSOC, like the gym’s six Keiser half racks, which employ a system of hydraulics designed for explosive strength training.
“You won’t find this equipment in other gyms on Camp Lejeune,” said Paul A. Nilsen, the director of Semper Fit Camp Lejeune. “These machines are comparable to what’s found in a professional athlete training facility,” he said.
MARSOC can reserve the gym to train Marines and Sailors in its Special Operations School, or at the team or company level.
The gym officially opened Oct. 4 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks from Col. Daniel J. Lecce, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and Col. Daniel R. Masur, the assistant chief of staff for G-3 operations at MARSOC.
“Health and fitness are key to maintaining the well-being of Marines and Sailors aboard Camp Lejeune and ensuring their mission readiness,” said Masur in his remarks. “This fitness center was designed with Marines and Sailors in mind.”