Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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...

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 2 - February 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Health care experiences prior to suicide and self-inflicted injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Relations between suicide and traumatic brain injury, psychiatric diagnoses, and relationship problems, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2009; Outpatient encounters associated with diagnostic codes for migraine and other types of headaches, active component service members, 1998-2010; Medical evacuations from Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003-2011; Surveillance snapshot: Medical evacuations from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, October 2001-December 2011; Surveillance snapshot: Recurrent medical encounters associated with alcohol abuse-related diagnostic codes, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 7 - July 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Health of women after wartime deployments: correlates of risk for selected medical conditions among females after initial and repeat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, active component, U.S. Armed Forces; Acute pelvic inflammatory disease, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011; Ectopic pregnancy, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011; Historical snapshot: Dr. Mary E. Walker, Civil War surgeon, Medal of Honor recipient; Surveillance snapshot: traumatic amputations among female service members, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2011; Iron deficiency anemia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 6 - June 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance Snapshot: deployment-related injuries to external genital organs, by month and service, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-April 2012; Incident diagnoses of cancers and cancer-related deaths, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2011; Deaths by suicide while on active duty, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2011; Mental disorders and mental health problems, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2011; Amputations of upper and lower extremities, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2011.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 4 - April 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: "Military importance": what does it mean and can it be assessed objectively?; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, 2011; Hospitalizations among members of the active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2011; Surveillance Snapshot: illness and injury burdens among U.S. military recruit trainees, 2011; "Sentinel reportable medical events, service members and other beneficiaries of the U.S. military health system, first calendar quarter, 2012 versus 2011"; Ambulatory visits among members of the active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2011.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 12 - December 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Pulmonary and extrapulmonary coccidioidomycosis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2011; Seasonal variation in incident diagnoses of appendicitis among beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2002-2011; Historical perspective: coccidioidomycosis in the U.S. military and military-associated populations; Appendicitis and appendectomies among non-service member beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2002-2011; Appendicitis and appendectomies, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 9 - September 2012

Report
1/1/2012

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Injuries due to firearms and air guns among U.S. military members not participating in overseas combat operations, 2002-2011; Health care encounters for injuries associated with a gun mechanism or component, U.S. Armed Forces; Images in health surveillance: West Nile virus vectors and prevention; Update: Pneumonia-influenza and severe acute respiratory illnesses, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2000-June 2012; Pneumonia and influenza among military members and other beneficiaries of the U.S. military health system, 2007-2012; Lightning-related medical encounters, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2009- August 2012; Coccidioidomycosis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2000-June 2012.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

Indications and Conditions for In-Theater Post-Injury Neurocognitive Assessment Tool (NCAT) Testing

Report
5/31/2011

In accordance with Section 1673 of the NDAA HR 4986, signed into law in January of 2008, the Secretary of Defense was instructed to establish a protocol for the pre-deployment assessment and documentation of the cognitive functioning of Service Members deployed outside the United States.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Traumatic Brain Injury | Disability Evaluation

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 12 - December 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Brief report: Births, active component, 2001-2010; Brief report: Numbers and characteristics of women in the active component, U.S. Armed Forces; Complications and care related to pregnancy, labor and delivery, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Urinary stones, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Uterine fibroids, active component females, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Historical snapshot: Dr. Anna Baetjer, industrial hygiene pioneer, military occupational health advocate.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 7 - July 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Associations between repeated deployments to OEF/OIF/OND, October 2001-December 2010, and post-deployment illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces; Carpal tunnel syndrome, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2010; Herpes zoster, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2010; Plant dermatitis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 1 - January 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010; Diagnoses of overweight/obesity, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2010; Multiple sclerosis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2009; Notices to Readers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 3 - March 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Motorcycle and other motor vehicle accident-related deaths, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2010; Update: Heat injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2010.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 10 - October 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Relationships between increasing outpatient encounters for neurological disorders and introductions of associated diagnostic codes, active duty military service members, 1998-2010; Alcohol-related diagnoses, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Update: Cold weather injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2006-June 2011; Surveillance Snapshot: Reportable medical events of heat injury in relation to heat index, June-September 2011.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 6 - June 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Duration of service after overweight-related diagnoses, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2010; Noise-induced hearing injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007-2010; Acute gastroenteritis outbreak at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, DC; Surveillance Snapshot: Gastroenteritis-related hospitalizations, 2001-2010.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 2 - February 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Causes of medical evacuations from Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF), New Dawn (OND) and Enduring Freedom (OEF), active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, October 2001-September 2010; Cruciate ligament injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2009; Surveillance snapshot: Acute myocardial infarction, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2009.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 5 - May 2011

Report
1/1/2011

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Eye injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2010; Stress fractures, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004-2010; Trends in emergency medical and urgent care visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000-2010; Surveillance Snapshot: Emergency departments visits for traumatic brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health
<< < ... 11 12 13 14 15  ... > >> 
Showing results 181 - 195 Page 13 of 23
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 05, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.