January 27th, 2011
12:25 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – First Lady Michelle Obama took her campaign to battle childhood obesity to the military on Thursday.
"It's not just a health issue for children, its a national security issue," Mrs. Obama said at Fort Jackson in South Carolina as she promoted her 'Let's Move!' initiative. Fort Jackson is the Army's largest basic training facility.
Obama attended a briefing led by Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the Army's Deputy Commanding General for training, on the poor state of physical fitness for today's youth, and the difficulty for the military to attract new recruits who can meet basic fitness standards. Of the 129,000 new recruits every year, approximately 40 percent are overweight.
"You learned to follow but you also learned to lead," she said as she spoke briefly to the graduates and their families. "And you learned to make better choices about what you eat." She also said President Obama was committed to providing them everything they need while in the service, as well as the care and support they need after they leave active duty.
Obama was also scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey's daily talk show on Wednesday to discuss the nationwide campaign to improve the quality of life for military families that her husband announced last week. The segment was taped last Friday at Winfrey's studio in Chicago.