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Photo Information

Cpl. Ajunelle Simmons performs a weighted squat at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Sept. 27, 2015. The Hancock gym and Devil Dog gym’s hours will increase by more than 40 hours per week beginning Oct. 1, 2015, collectively between the two fitness facilities. The change in hours comes from the concerns of Marines on the air station being heard by their senior leadership. Simmons is a food service specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez

Marines’ voices echo, prompt new gym hours

30 Sep 2015 | Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines’ wishes for more gym time at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point will be granted as of Oct. 1, due to positive communication between the command and the Marines.

The Hancock and Devil Dog gym’s new hours will increase by more than 40 hours per week collectively between the two fitness facilities.

“We are getting a win-win situation here,” said Sgt. Maj. Benjamin L. Pangborn, MCAS Cherry Point. “In order to extend gym hours, more personnel will be hired to accommodate the longer shifts. As more staff is hired, we will extend the hours until we meet the requirements that the honorable Mr. Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, put out for us as directed in the ALNAV 50/15.”

According to Mabus, by the end of 2015, each service will ensure that their current fitness programs and facilities promote a year-round culture of health and fitness.

“A career in the military is one of the most challenging and rewarding our nation has to offer,” said Mabus. “Throughout our history, the success we have enjoyed in combat is directly linked to our ability to train and prepare. Those who volunteer to serve in the finest expeditionary fighting force in the world deserve an environment supportive of holistic long-term health and fitness.”

According to Mike Largent, the Chief Executive Officer of Marine Corps Community Services at Cherry Point, this is being done in two stages; with hours increasing at both the Hancock and Devil Dog gyms, MCCS will drive toward fully staffing the gyms and opening them 24 hours a day by the end of November.

“We are also in the middle of increasing the usable square footage at the Devil Dog gym so the Marines will have more space to work out in,” said Largent. “This should make a lot of Marines happy and that is what we are here for, to serve the Marines because they mean a lot to us.”

According to Lance Cpl. Zacharia Hutchins, a cyber-network operator with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28, there is a lot of people who go to outside gyms because of the limited hours here and who will now save time and money with the newly extended hours.

“After work was a complete no-go because of the gym closing so early,” said Hutchins. “Now we will have time after shift to get a workout in every day.”

“I love the fact that our senior leadership is listening and taking our advice,” said Hutchins. “It means a lot that our needs are getting fulfilled.”

“Get those ideas up to us via chain of command or utilize the Interactive Customer Evaluation system,” said Pangborn. “Let us know what you are thinking so we can ensure that Cherry Point has everything that a Marine needs.”

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing