Release | February 8, 2022

Mission: Readiness Applauds New Nutrition Standards

Retired admirals and generals react to new school nutrition standards announced by the USDA

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - The retired admirals and generals of Mission: Readiness applaud a recent announcement made by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement new transitional school nutrition standards. With childhood obesity rates rising across the nation, school nutrition standards play a critical role in providing healthy meals to young Americans.

The transitional nutrition standards for school meals will allow schools to gradually move away from pandemic operations toward more nutritious school meals. The new standards include updates to milk, whole grains, and sodium requirements, and will take effect during the 2022-2023 school year and last through the 2023-2024 school year. During this time, the USDA will work to establish more long-term standards for the 2024-2025 school year and beyond.

For more than a decade, Mission: Readiness has supported science-based nutrition standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which provides free or reduced-price school meals. With 71 percent of youth ineligible for military service and one in three too overweight or obese to enlist, the retired admirals and generals of Mission: Readiness see the NSLP as a key program to ensuring that more young Americans grow up healthy and prepared to succeed.

“Obesity keeps military service out of reach for far too many young Americans. By improving upon existing school meal nutrition standards, the USDA is taking a necessary step toward enhancing the health of our nation’s young people,” said Lieutenant General Norm Seip, U.S. Air Force, Retired. “We must remain vigilant in reversing negative health trends among youth, particularly obesity. Proper childhood nutrition is critical to national security and the success of future generations.”

Mission: Readiness, an organization of nearly 800 retired admirals and generals, focuses on bipartisan solutions that help more young Americans grow up healthy, well-educated, and prepared to serve their nation in any way they choose. We will continue to closely monitor standards and support efforts to improve nutrition in school meals.


  1. National