MNE action plans: Keep calm and carry on

Working to improve your MNE can be a challenge. There will be setbacks, pauses, obstacles, and tough decisions along the way. Still, keep your goal in mind: to improve the food environment where members of the military community live, work, and train. Your work contributes to optimizing the military community’s nutritional fitness. Overcoming obstacles is all part of creating a “culture of health.” Don’t get discouraged. Instead, reassess your plan, timeline, or focus to maximize your chance of success.

“Keep at this. When you look at the efforts to decrease smoking, it took time to take effect.”

 – mNEAT app user

  • Celebrate small wins. Change takes time.Team working together to build toward their goal
  • Take a pause and re-engage with stakeholders when the timing is better. Holidays, PCS, or large installation or Service events might limit opportunities for initiatives.
  • Focus on what you can control. Review what you can influence at the local level and target your efforts there.
  • Take advantage of the right people in the right place at the right time. A supportive partnership is key to success.
  • Go where the action is. Identify which venues or stakeholders have an interest in improving their food footprint and pivot to a different target area when needed.
  • Discuss your challenges with MNE teams at other installations. Brainstorm together to help tackle tough problems, share best practices, and celebrate wins.
  • Target your installation or Service’s top priorities. Highlight how an optimized MNE can positively impact other fitness, performance, or health initiatives and programs.
  • Align your MNE plan with fitness or performance standards or requirements. More time, resources, and energy are likely spent on the “must do” over the “want to do.”
  • Get buy-in. Seek leadership support through existing councils or working groups and show return on investment if possible.
  • Applaud your team for their efforts and progress.

“Like a revolution, it takes time to change.”

– mNEAT app user

Feedback requestedGot other tips for continuing the momentum for MNE initiatives? Contact us at to share your ideas.


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Troncoso, M. R., Jayne, J. M., Robinson, D. J., & Deuster, P. A. (2021). Targeting nutritional fitness by creating a culture of health in the military. Military Medicine, 186(3-4), 83–86. doi:10.1093/milmed/usaa325