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DVIDS – News – First Corps’ trailblazing approach to Holistic Health and Fitness

4 min read

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Sept. 25, 2023) – The U.S. Army is known for producing tough, resilient, and physically fit Soldiers. Physical fitness has been a key aspect of military tradition since its founding in 1775. However, the execution of physical fitness has changed a lot over the years. The U.S. Army implemented the newest program, the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program, in 2020 to ensure that Soldiers are not just physically fit, but that they are healthy in all aspects.

“In a nutshell, the H2F program is a holistic approach to not only how the Army trains, but how we execute holistic readiness in a way that spans five pillars: Physical, Nutritional, Mental, Spiritual, and Sleep,” said Master Sgt. Atarius Henley, I Corps master fitness trainer and the G4 logistic activities material readiness division sergeant major.

Those five pillars are said to contribute to the overall readiness of Soldiers in many significant ways, particularly because they focus on the individual. In past physical training plans, the Army had mainly only focused on muscular strength and endurance, which are just two components of physical fitness. The H2F program allows individuals to see an H2F expert to learn about their physical performance, eating habits, sleep performance, and other aspects of their day-to-day lives, which empowers Soldiers to take charge of their health, fitness, and well-being.

“We have to really look at all of the components that we are: It’s sleep, it’s nutrition, it’s physical fitness, it’s spiritual fitness, it’s mental fitness,” said Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, I Corps commanding general, during the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Frontline Podcast ‘I Corps: Leadership & the Indo-Pacific region.’ “That’s what H2F is going to do with our Corps being one of the first to pilot the full-on H2F system.”

Over the last three years, I Corps and subordinate units have had seven H2F teams and facilities created with support available to all Soldiers within the organizations. The facilities have physical therapists, registered dietitians, strength and conditioning coaches, and other specialists who are able to meet with Soldiers one-on-one.

Henley, as the I Corps master fitness trainer, also serves as a liaison between the I Corps staff and the subordinate units to assist with any questions or coordination when necessary.

“This is definitely a different approach that is extremely beneficial to our warfighters as well as our force at large,” stated Henley. “We’re executing this program here at JBLM in a trailblazing type of way because we have the opportunity to show the Army a new way that we can continue to improve the readiness across all of our formations.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn Carns, I Corps command sergeant major, also emphasized that the H2F program is not just a “one and done” type of program. The goal is to keep receiving follow-on care to help the Soldiers prevent and reduce injuries and optimize Soldier performance.

“It’s not just a ‘Hey, go to H2F and that’s it.’ When they get back to their unit, they’re still receiving assistance to be able to continue that care until their next appointment at H2F,” said Carns, during the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Frontline Podcast ‘I Corps: Leadership & the Indo-Pacific region.’

In October of 2020, the fitness requirements for the U.S. Army changed, switching from the Army Physical Fitness Test to the Army Combat Fitness Test, providing the Army with a more accurate assessment of a Soldier’s overall physical fitness levels. The new fitness test requires more muscular strength, endurance, power, speed, agility, coordination, flexibility, balance, reaction time, and aerobic capacity. With the changes in physical training and assessments, the Army also changed the training and preventative measures, hence, the change with the holistic approach.

“I can’t wait to see this affect the rest of our formations across the Army,” said Henley. “I’m very glad to have the opportunity to ensure units and organizations are best prepared to be able to deploy, fight, and win. The best part of this position so far has been helping Soldiers be an added resource and benefit to their units in order to enhance readiness and conduct their missions in any environment.”

While the U.S. Army doesn’t have a set date to implement the H2F program Army-wide, they say the goal is to eventually have the program available on every installation. For further information regarding the Holistic Health and Fitness changes, please visit https://usacimt.tradoc.army.mil/ACFTGuidance.html.

Date Taken: 09.25.2023
Date Posted: 09.28.2023 18:29
Story ID: 454263

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