SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 – The Army’s implementation of Holistic Health and Fitness, or H2F, has made significant progress over the past year as the Army’s primary investment in Soldier readiness and lethality.
“H2F is a key component in changing the culture of health and fitness across our force,” said Col. Kevin Bigelman, the H2F Director at the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training. “H2F enables commanders and Soldiers to optimize physical and non-physical performance, reduce injury rates, improve rehabilitation after injury, and increase overall effectiveness of the Total Army.”
H2F is a first-of-its-kind, Army enterprise human performance system designed to optimize Soldier readiness with physical and non-physical performance training across five H2F readiness domains: physical, mental, sleep, spiritual, and nutrition.
“We are shifting away from an industrial-scale, one-size-fits-all model and using an interdisciplinary approach that looks at all aspects that impact Soldier readiness,” said Bigelman. “This approach will enable us to improve and sustain Soldier readiness from their first day in the Army and throughout their entire Army career.”
Bigelman noted several substantial investments into H2F over the past 12 months.
Last year, 28 brigades received H2F performance teams, with an interdisciplinary staff of athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, physical and occupational therapists, cognitive performance specialists, and dietitians.
“Having these teams down at the brigades where Soldiers live, work and train provides improved access to care and helps us maximize Soldier potential,” said Bigelman. “More specifically, having performance specialists at the brigade level allows us to provide science-based strategies to help Soldiers improve fueling choices, optimize sleep hygiene and quality, improve reaction times and decision making, and train smarter for consistent physical improvement resulting in less injuries.”
The Army also updated and published doctrine to reflect the shift to H2F, with the release of FM 7-22 (Holistic Health and Fitness) and two Army Techniques Publications (ATP 7-22.01 and ATP 7-22.02), as well as conducted a number of pilot programs, to include one on yoga and mindfulness techniques in basic combat training.
Bigelman said they plan to build off last year’s momentum into 2022.
A mobile H2F Implementation Team will be sharing best practices on working as an interdisciplinary team, units will be receiving deployable and garrison medical equipment, and H2F will continue to be integrated into professional military education throughout the lifecycle of a Soldier’s career.
There will also be a number of H2F pilot programs this coming year, to include Army Reserve and National Guard initiatives to develop best-fit solutions for the unique needs of Citizen-Soldiers.
“Past and planned investments into the program demonstrates the Army’s commitment to H2F and providing the men and women of our Army the tools and training they need to fight and win our nation’s wars while protecting their overall health and well-being,” stated Bigelman.
Future implementation plans for the H2F System include the resourcing of up to 110 brigades by 2030 and the building of Soldier Performance Readiness Centers starting in 2023. These facilities will serve as a unit-owned physical center that deliver a comprehensive, immersive, and integrative training experience for the individual Soldier, staffed by certified H2F performance professionals.
H2F is an all of Army approach to keeping our Soldiers the most ready force in the world.
Story by Hunter Rhoades
U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training