Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

Resiliency: The Main Ingredient in a Military Household

Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

Resiliency: The Main Ingredient in a Military Household

Article excerpt

We have the most technologically advanced, versatile, and diverse force in the history of warfare. The American fighting man and woman serve in a profession that is constantly engaged in defending freedom in virtually every time zone on the planet. As operational tempo declines, our force will readjust to a more garrison-oriented environment. As we reshape this battle-tested force, it must remain ready, relevant, trained, and educated on a tighter budget than enjoyed in previous years. Moreover, to maintain our fighting edge, we must be holistic in our approaches. Thus, resiliency is one of those lifeline ingredients that must be intertwined in every aspect of the military profession.


I have the privilege to serve as one of the senior enlisted point men for a new doctrinal effort. As defined, Total Force Fitness (TFF, pronounced tough) is a state in which the individual, family, and organization can sustain optimal well-being and performance under any condition. For additional clarification, let us address some of the core principles. TFF:

* is a common doctrinal framework that supports Service-specific fitness programs

* implores leaders to take a holistic approach to accommodate Servicemembers, their families, organizations, and communities

* spans a complete lifecycle of Servicemembers starting before enlistment and beyond retirement or honorable separation

* recognizes the military family as the cornerstone of warfighter success

* places an emphasis on leadership, parenting, and mentoring

* depends upon valid and reliable metrics for ongoing program evaluation and improvement.

One of the most important core principles that I must stress is that this effort does not replace or duplicate existing Service programs, such as Semper Fit, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, Airman Fitness, and so forth. In fact, it was built by the leaders of the individual Service fitness programs to serve as a common framework where best practices could be exchanged, augmented, or enhanced.

The methodology is simple: as an individual, family, or command dives into the various domains of Total Force Fitness (see figure), it takes a concerted and focused toughness to get there and remain. That does not mean we hold things in. If a tank develops a crack in the armor, we do not simply slap a coat of paint over it. We pull that system in for maintenance, and likewise we maintain the fitness of the force. …

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