One-stop shop for mind, body and spirit

13 Jul 2005 | Pfc. Adam Johnston

Physical fitness is part of every Marine’s life.  For some, the gym is their second home.  However, being healthy is more than big biceps and a first class physical fitness test.  A healthy lifestyle involves making the right choices for your mind and spirit as well.  That’s where the Health Promotion branch of Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services comes in.

The mission of Health Promotion, which is made up of five individual departments, is “to educate, motivate, and initiate healthy life skill choices for the mind, body, and spirit.”

“Ultimately, all the briefs and workshops are geared towards making Marines mission capable,” said Keith C. Wright Sr., a drug demand reduction instructor with the Health Promotion branch.

One of the elements required in making Marines mission ready is conducting pre and post-deployment briefs, covering serious topics like sexual assault, suicide and other health issues.

“We want the units to know that we can be very flexible in terms of time and location.  Whether it be day or night, after hours or on the weekends, we are willing to come to them,” said Barbara L. Miller, the Health Promotion branch’s social counselor.

In addition to having a college degree in their area of expertise, each of the five instructors has some sort of tie to the military.  Roy R. Ells Jr., the Health Promotion branch’s personal finance education specialist, is a retired Marine and Vietnam War veteran.

“There’s a major difference between knowing about something and actually doing it.  Having first-hand knowledge adds an element of reality into the equation.  The personal experience helps in making a better connection with others and gaining their trust,” said Ells.

Most of the information found in each presentation was researched and compiled by the instructors themselves. 

“Unlike certain places out in town, we’re not trying to sell you anything.  We only have your best interests in mind.  It’s our job to give you the tools you need to make good, informed decisions,” said Ells.

The services provided by Health Promotion are open to everyone who either works on Camp Lejeune or is related to someone who does.

For more information about Health Promotion, you can go online at