DVIDS – News – From thinking traps to earning success: H2F opens doors

SMYRNA, Tenn. — Tennessee Guardsmen are reaping the benefits of the Holistic Health and Fitness program that enhances the whole person by promoting physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual, and sleep readiness.

The Holistic Health and Fitness program, known as H2F, was initiated by the Center for Army Lessons Learned and was adopted by the Tennessee National Guard’s Joint Family Programs in 2023 to improve Soldier and Airmen readiness and wellness. When the program began, it addressed five-domains of personal readiness: the physical demands on one’s body, the selection of healthy foods and drinks, the mental demands of combat, development of the character traits needed to sustain a person, and the necessary sleep principles to support optimal brain function. This year a sixth domain, financial readiness, was added.

“In a world of constrained budgets and continuing resolutions, financial readiness can have a significant impact on readiness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James Crockett, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Tennessee National Guard. “H2F encompasses all domains of readiness. It is designed to make better humans, and change a culture of how we train, develop, and care for our Guardsmen.”

The H2F program is an annual event that spans a three-month period starting with a two-week resident course at Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site, followed by two one-day drills. The spacing between the sessions provide time for the Soldiers, Airmen, and their coaches to “check on learning” — to see how well the service members were able to implement what they learned during the course.

“The objective of the program is to help service members reduce body fat, improve physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual, financial, and sleep readiness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ken Weichert, Master Fitness Trainer, Resilience Trainer, and course manager. “H2F empowers Soldiers and Airmen to avoid thinking traps – convincing themselves they cannot accomplish something – building self-confidence, creating excitement, and restoring resilience.”

Spc. Lindsey Jackson, a signal system support specialist in the 301st Troop Command, struggled with advancements due to personal challenges to meet her readiness standards. However, thanks to the guidance and support of the Holistic Health and Fitness program, she not only met but exceeded her needed fitness goals.

“I cried and was able to express things I have been struggling with for a long time,” said Jackson. “Overall, this class has made me a better person, Soldier, mother, and friend.”

“H2F brought about a remarkable transformation for Spc. Jackson,” said Lt. Col. Brian McSpadden, commander of the 301st Troop Command. “She serves as a testament to the importance of understanding one’s ‘why’ for achieving success.”

Jackson was promoted to the rank of specialist and she credits her newfound outlook to Wiechert and was pinned on March 9.

The first iteration of H2F was held at the Volunteer Training Site in Smyrna during the summer of 2023 to help Tennessee Guardsmen create plans to meet their mental and physical goals. Its success was expanded by the Recruiting and Sustainment Program.

RSP prepares new Army Guard trainees for basic training. These new Guardsmen arrive at their first drill with some anxiety about what to expect at basic training. To help assuage this anxiety and prepare them for Initial Entry Training, they attend monthly drills with Recruitment Sustainment Program. The RSP cadre introduce them to military customs and courtesies, marching, and physical fitness. Taking the training to the next step, this year H2F was added to the training plan.

“RSP provides these new Soldiers with tools to improve their own readiness and should increase their excitement about what all the Guard has to offer,” said 1st Lt. Katelyn Wilson, RSP Program Director. “Basic training is a very difficult part of becoming a Soldier and it’s easy to fall into thinking traps.”

“H2F was absolutely amazing,” said Pfc. Bobby Brantley, an RSP trainee. “It taught me the right balance between physical fitness, mental fitness, nutritional fitness, spiritual fitness, and sleep fitness. It has just the right balance to tie everything together. It trains you and challenges you in every aspect, and I can see where it would have a great impact in the long term.”

Because of H2F’s continued success, plans are in place to expand the program into East and West Tennessee.


Date Taken: 06.25.2024
Date Posted: 06.25.2024 15:04
Story ID: 474811

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