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Recap: How to Support Your Local Military Community

how to support your local military community

On November 11, IHRSA, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the 32nd installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series, on the subject of how to support your local military community.

Panelists included Colonel Kevin Bigelman, director of holistic health and fitness, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training; Stephanie Coulon, membership and marketing director, Stone Creek Club & Spa; Colonel Mary Martinez, chief of staff and deputy commander, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training; Bill McBride, the co-founder, president and CEO of Active Wellness; and Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM and owner of WORX health clubs. The discussion was led and moderated by Brent Darden, the interim president and CEO of IHRSA, and chair of REX Roundtables.

The following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, centered on how to support your local military community:


  • Army Combat Fitness Test is designed to focus more on holistic health and fitness, reducing injuries, seeing soldiers come out of service healthier than they came in.
  • The Army is focused on changing the culture of fitness and health. Sleep, nutrition and mental aspects are now infused throughout the Army.

How to Help the Army:

  • Research requirements for military testing.
  • Have the right equipment to help soldiers train.
  • Soldiers don’t know how to train for the fitness test. Train your personal trainers to help them prepare.
  • Partner with the military to fill the gaps where military gyms lack – corporate membership, etc.
  • Reach out to your local Guard/Reserve to establish a connection. Seek out their needs and requirements.
  • OPAT is a new recruit test that determines where people are physically. Your gym can help them prepare for this.
  • Offer a free membership to any active duty military and their spouses.
  • If your facility is not in the position to give free memberships, at least give a military discount.
  • Have a culture of inclusion if you’re in a military town.
  • Give military members your lowest rates.
  • Currently, 71% of people thinking of joining the military wouldn’t qualify due to lack of education, being overweight, etc.
  • Stone Creek’s Salute Our Soldiers program
    • A way to show visual display of support and is a great conversation starter.
    • Over 800 flags displayed at their facility.

Leadership Skills From the Military Your Team Can Use:

  • Do good when no one is looking.
  • Build up the team.
  • Empower your subordinates.
  • Build trust within the organization.
  • Don’t control all the tactics.
  • Be clear on your strategy.
  • When you simplify, you build more clarity.
  • Give more than you take.
  • Lead by example.
  • There has to be a unified strategy.

 Access the on-demand version on this webinar.

Access the audio-only version of this webinar.

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the 33rd installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: COVID-19 Impact Review and the Way Forward for Fitness Clubs” on Wednesday, November 18 at 2 p.m. EST. Limited seats are available, register now.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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