Skip to main content

Military Health System

METC trains dietician techs to build, support a Medically Ready Force

Image of Military health personnel preparing food trays while wearing a face mask. Air Force Master Sgt. Jorge Nikolas, a student in the Nutrition and Diet Therapy program at the Medical Education and Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, prepares a tray of steaks in the kitchen training laboratory.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Medical Education and Training Campus

Good nutrition is the mainstay of health. It is well known that eating the right foods can oftentimes make a big impact on our physical - and mental - wellbeing.

A healthy diet could help fight off illness and control diseases, improve our mood and mental health, and prevent obesity. In fact, the benefits of healthful eating are so well established that medical practitioners employ nutrition therapy to treat certain diseases and chronic conditions.

National Nutrition Month, observed during the month of March, focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits along with physical activity. Being that health and fitness are synonymous with force readiness, it's no surprise that nutrition plays an important role in the military.

The Nutrition and Diet Therapy program at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), located on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, trains students to become Army nutrition care specialists or Air Force diet therapy apprentices.

The eight-week long course prepares students to function as entry-level dietetic technicians in medical treatment facilities and deployed settings. Students are taught to perform patient nutrition screenings and assessments, basic medical nutrition therapy, menu and food modification for therapeutic use, how to operate and clean food service equipment, and participate in procurement, storing and administration of dietetic foods and supplies. Students also learn how to prepare an individually-tailored meal based on a nutrition plan designed by a dietician and serve it to a patient.

Military health personnel wearing face mask speaking to each other
Army Pvt. Tobin Roche, left, conducts a simulated nutrition screening during a practical exercise in the Nutrition and Diet Therapy program at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In this portion of the training Roche is learning to conduct nutritional screenings, assessments, and document finding for a simulated patient.  Maj. Stephanie Gasper, program director, acts as the patient in this scenario. The METC Nutrition and Diet Therapy program prepares students to function as entry-level dietetic technicians in medical treatment facilities and deployed settings (Photo By: Lisa Braun, Medical Education and Training Campus).

According to Army Maj. Stephanie Gasper, METC Nutrition and Diet Therapy program director, the diversity of the career field covers a wide range of areas that promote and maintain nutrition, health, and readiness within the force.

"Military nutrition technicians can work in food service operations and medical field feeding, sports nutrition to optimize performance and support the warfighter, nutrition for general health and wellness or disease prevention, or perform patient care through medical nutrition therapy for diseases or other conditions in both a hospital and inpatient or ambulatory settings," she explained.

"I think there are so many opportunities for soldiers and airmen in the nutrition career field today compared to several years ago, so I'm excited for what lays ahead of them once they leave here. The majority of our students are excited and ready to take what they learn here to improve the health of our force," Gasper added.

Air Force Master Sgt. Jorge Nikolas, a student in the program, said that Nutrition and Diet Therapy is his dream career field. "The military allowed me to get this training so that I can make a positive impact to the long-term health of my fellow airmen and soldiers. With a large aging population, the country needs more skilled diet therapists to help our currently serving and retired military customers."

The importance of good nutrition cannot be over emphasized.

"Everyone has to eat, and what we eat and how much we eat can have a real impact on our physical and mental wellbeing," Gasper pointed out.

You also may be interested in...

Air Force Unit provides worldwide medical response capability

Article
10/15/2020
Two military personnel loading equipment onto an aircraft

The 379th EAES crews provide time sensitive in-flight patient care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support

DHA’s new Joint Operations Center serves as essential integration hub

Article
10/14/2020
Three military personnel looking at a document

From conference rooms to one location, DHA’s JOC gets an upgrade.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Article
10/7/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium.

Adaptation key to providing outstanding care to beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Administration & Operations | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Quality & Safety of Health Care (for Health Care Professionals) | Clinical Quality Management | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

NMHM documents military medicine advancements during the Civil War

Article
10/5/2020
Old-time photo of soldiers with crutches, canes, and missing limbs.

Initial challenges to military medicine stemmed from limited medical knowledge and lack of organization in the medical corps.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Our History | National Museum of Health and Medicine

From Ghana to Washington, Sailor provides leadership during COVID-19

Article
9/10/2020

Acquiring supplies, in general, has been a hurdle worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/24/2020
Two technicians in full PPE in a lab

COVID-19 has shed new light on the methods of conducting medical training and education.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training

Military Medicine Joining Forces to Fight COVID-19 All Around the World

Article
7/17/2020
A group of military personnel posing for a picture

Multiple commands from the Navy and Air Force responded to the request with personnel from all over the country.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support

COVID-19: Lifestyle Tips to Stay Healthy

Article
5/22/2020
A collage of four pictures of people exercising, sleeping and eating healthy food. Click to open a larger version of the image.

As we move toward a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has changed many of our daily routines in ways no one anticipated and that have become the new normal.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness
<< < ... 11 12 > >> 
Showing results 166 - 173 Page 12 of 12
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 05, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery