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Army Holistic Health
ARMYCONNECT™ Army Holistic Health and Fitness – H2F
NOTE: The Army Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program is still fairly new, but already making strides across the force. As a leader, soldier, vested civilian, or contractor; do not rush to failure. We believe this program has immense potential.
Army Holistic Health and Fitness H2F and Support the Army’s ‘People First’ Strategy
ArmyConnect™ is proud to highlight the Army Holistic Health and Fitness H2F program. For more than two decades, the Army missed the mark on an overarching umbrella to encapsulate the spirit of the Warrior Athlete. Instead, Army leaders put together a hodgepodge of programs that might have had the right intent, but the with poor execution, provided lackluster results. We have a separate article from 2021 we will republish that peels back the onion on the Army’s efforts, or lack thereof, to support all of their personnel be fully mission capable for future operations.
One great method of preparing yourself and your team for the five dimensions of the Army’s H2F program is through soldier health and medical readiness.
What is the Army Holistic Health and Fitness Program?
Per the Senior Army Leaders in the U.S. Army H2F Operating Concept, the “Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) System is the Arm’s primary investment in Soldier readiness and lethality, optimal physical and non-physical performance, reduced injury rates, improved rehabilitation after injury, and increased overall effectiveness of the Total Army. The system empowers and equips Soldiers to take charge of their health, fitness, and well-being in order to optimize individual performance, while preventing injury and disease (2020).”
Does the Army Holistic Health and Fitness Program Replace the Five Dimensions of Personal Readiness?
That is a great question that we do not have an answer to. As of the date of publishing, our research shows there are two separate pages; one for the Army Holistic Health and Fitness program and one for Army Resiliency. The operating concept does not mention the five dimensions of personal readiness, but there is clearly overlap the the following domains: physical, mental (emotional), and spiritual. The addition of sleep and nutrition is clearly a Vulcan mind meld of ideas from the Army’s Performance Triad (P3); sleep, activity, and nutrition. In classic Army fashion, a bit messy on the the execution; separate websites, separate formats, overlapping themes.
What Regulations Govern the Army’s H2F program?
The Army manages the H2F program with three regulations and one operational concept:
- U.S. Army H2F Operating Concept, October 2020
- FM 7-22, Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F), October 2020
- ATP 7-22.01, Holistic Health and Fitness Testing, October 2020
- ATP 7-22.02, Holistic Health and Fitness Drills and Exercises, October 2020
What are the Five Domains of the Army H2F?
The Army Holistic Health and Fitness Program encourages leaders and soldiers to understand five domains to improve their combat effectiveness and personal readiness:
- Physical: to include muscular strength, muscular endurance, aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, and power
- Mental: includes cognitive capability, emotional capability, and interpersonal and social capability
- Spiritual: a non-physical domain that encapsulates a person’s beliefs, principles, and values (personal values and Army Values)
- Nutritional: which includes foundational, operational, and therapeutic nutrition
- Sleep: this dimension includes timing, duration, and continuity
the Holistic Health and Fitness System Elements
H2F frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Key Army H2F Measurement Tools?
A great question with a not-so-good answer. Since the 2020 announcement, we have not seen a coordinated approach to how Army leaders are structuring the Army Holistic Health and Fitness program. Classic Army. From FM 7-22, we understand there are at least four critical aspects of the program:
- Training Phases: initial and sustaining
- H2F Domains / Army Readiness Domains: physical, mental, spiritual, nutritional, and sleep
- Soldier Physiology: energy pathway, phosphagen pathway, glycolytic pathway, and anatomy
- Training Cycles: microcycles, mesocycle, and marcrocycle
- Holistic Health: prevention and treatment, community, various approaches to health
The Army H2F Initial Phase
During the initial phase of training, soldiers are taught the basic skills required for soldiering tasks such as shooting, moving, communicating, surviving, and protecting or medical treatment. These tasks include both mental and physical skills that need to be learned before the completion of Initial Military Training (IMT). Recruiters prepare recruits using the Future Soldier Program (FSP) prior to attending IMT. Drill Sergeants and supporting staff, including H2F performance contractors, conduct IMT training for large groups using H2F facilities and equipment.
After completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT) or One Station Unit Training (OSUT), a Soldier who meets the sustaining phase standards can begin that phase of training. However, simply meeting these standards does not guarantee progression to this phase, as it depends on individual readiness. For example, soldiers must arrive at their First Unit of Assignment (FUA) being medically fit, physically capable, and proficient with their individual weapon system. As the duration of IMT may vary for different career paths, their physiological preparedness may differ as well.
|Program or Course||H2F Phase||Proponent||Domains Targeted|
|Future Soldier Program (FSP)||Initial||USAREC||Physical|
|Basic Combat Training (BCT)||Initial||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Advanced Individual Training (AIT)||Initial||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|One-Station Unit Training (OSUT)||Initial||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|First Unit of Assignment (FUA)||Initial||Varies||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
The Army H2F Sustaining Phase
The Army designed this phase of H2F training to improve the skills learned in the initial phase. During the sustaining phase, soldiers can master occupational and combat tasks through personalized training programs tailored to their individual needs. The H2F System will be available at each unit or installation, making customized training programs easily accessible. For National Guard and others, H2F performance teams within each state provide consulting services for personalized training. Unit facilities and other training venues will offer equipment and facility support. Overall, the sustaining phase is crucial for developing and enhancing both physical and mental attributes relevant to combat tasks.
|Program or Course||H2F Phase||Proponent||Domains Targeted|
|Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOC)||Sustaining||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC)||Sustaining||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC)||Sustaining||TRADOC||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Active Component (AD)||Sustaining||Varies||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Reserve Component (USAR)||Sustaining||Varies||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Individual Training||Sustaining||Varies||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
|Condensed Training||Sustaining||Varies||Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep|
The Army H2F Training Cycles
Leader’s help their soldiers achieve and sustain peak performance through thoughtful training scheduled in cycles that alternate between maximal and sub-maximal levels. Soldiers without scheduled combat deployments can repeat these cycles at lower levels to maintain a high foundational readiness. These cycles induce physiological and psychological changes that contribute to improved readiness. It is recommended to build training schedules around microcycles, mesocycles, and macrocycles, with each period progressively longer than the previous one.
|H2F Cycle||Duration||Leader Training Focus|
|Microcycle||2 – 14 days||“Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep” alternate between endurance and strength sessions as well as between training and recovery sessions (HQDA 2020). “|
|Mesocycle||2 – 6 weeks||“Physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual sleep” residual fitness—that carries over into the next cycle (HQDA 2020).”|
|Macrocycle||≥ 1 year||“This duration of training builds readiness towards a single peak within that time span. A twenty-year Army career would include multiple macrocycles. The goal for all Soldiers should be to complete their service in peak condition (HQDA 2020).”|
How Will the Army Implement and Manage the H2F Program?
The Army Holistic Health and Fitness program has three key characteristics supported by resourced personnel, planning, and material:
A complete H2F System aims to enhance the performance of individuals, improve operational readiness, and prevent performance decline and injuries in the long run. Maintaining a consistent level of personal readiness throughout a 20-30 year career is a challenging feat for most soldiers. However, achieving this consistency requires a well-planned and progressive training program rather than sheer luck or chance.
Maintaining a soldier’s personal readiness involves balancing physical and non-physical self-regulatory behaviors. This includes physical training to enhance various abilities, such as strength, speed, and flexibility, as well as cultivating practices like sleep, nutrition, spirituality, and cognition. All of these factors influence a soldier’s readiness to overcome challenging situations. Additionally, mental readiness is crucial for soldiers and requires mental toughness, flexibility, mindfulness, and moral and ethical judgment, as demanded by their profession.
The H2F System’s second feature is unit-level integration, which explores readiness beyond the aspects of a Soldier’s Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), and Mission-Essential tasks (METL) performed by the unit. Leaders evaluate these tasks within the context of current environmental factors and readiness.
The process of integration in the military involves developing personalized training programs for each soldier based on their specific skillset and the requirements of their unit’s METL. Since every soldier possesses unique physical abilities and strategies for self-regulation, the H2F program evaluates each soldier’s level of development and provides a customized training program to improve their progress and provide professional development. These individualized training programs are utilized to enhance the training of teams, squads, and units.
For more than five decades, the Army has taken a one-size-fits-all approach to physical training, ignoring the individual needs of each soldier. Oftentimes, considering those who cannot meet the conditions as weak, leaving some soldiers feeling ostracized and other, fully-qualified soldiers, to depart unfulfilled. However, the H2F doctrine aims to change this approach by training the entire soldier through a bespoke program designed to maintain the readiness of the Army. The H2F program offers a range of resources, including expert performance personnel, advanced medical care, specialized training equipment, and facilities. This system uses the latest scientific findings, coaching techniques, and training strategies to develop a customized program adapted to their physical needs to enhance their physical performance, reduce injury risk, ensure proper recovery, and facilitate a smooth transition between duty stations without compromising readiness training progression.
Immersive programming is a training method provided by the unit that promotes togetherness, morale, and reliance. The H2F program connects physical and non-physical domains in a program that features highly qualified personnel and advanced equipment, similar to those used in top-tier performance settings such as professional or collegiate athletics. This program offers soldiers the most thorough and effective training to enhance their preparedness and minimize the risk of injury.
In the past, physical and non-physical training was often seen as an individual or secondary responsibility. However, The H2F System now incorporates both types of training into the daily duties of a military unit. This approach allows for a more holistic readiness training experience, as well as increased control at the unit level. By integrating MOS and METL requirements in an immersive training setting, leaders can ensure that their soldiers receive the necessary training and are well-prepared for their duties.
Are there Any Other Army Programs That Support H2F?
Yes, the Army has multiple programs that provide supporting fires for the five dimensions of the H2F program. Here are just a few:
- Physical: Army Physical Readiness Training (PRT), Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), 1-on-1 Meeting With Primary Care Provider, etc.
- Mental: Master Resilience Training, ArmyFit, Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC), Suicide Prevention, etc.
- Spiritual: ArmyFit, Building Strong & Ready Teams, Army Chaplains, etc.
- Nutritional: Army Performance Triad (P3) nutrition center
- Sleep: Army Performance Triad (P3) sleep resources, TRICARE sleep studies
- Headquarters, and Secretary of the Army, ATP 7-22.01 Holistic Health and Fitness Testing § (2020). https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN35869-ATP_7-22.01-002-WEB-5.pdf.
- Headquarters, and Secretary of the Army, FM 7-22.01 Holistic Health and Fitness § (2020). https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN35869-ATP_7-22.01-002-WEB-5.pdf.
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