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A holistic solution to the Army’s fitness issue

The Army’s H2F (Holistic, Health and Fitness) program takes center stage in this week’s episode of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast.

H2F is “the Army’s number one priority in the human domain,” says Lt. Col. Sean Donohue, joined by Army veteran Alex Morrow. The program covers performance, strength and conditioning, nutrition and more for the troops.

Morrow, who now serves in the reserves, works as a civilian at H2F. Citing a similar Marine Corps program, he sees fitness and wellness initiatives becoming more common throughout DoD.

“The Marines Force Fitness Instructor program is doing some cool stuff,” he said. “H2F is the Army’s piece of a larger DoD puzzle and the DoD calls it Force Fitness. I’d argue that we’re ahead on this one, but I’m a little biased. All the services are aware of the challenges they face, not just in terms of physical fitness, but in health and wellbeing. I see things like H2F distributed by DoD.”

As all branches now struggle with recruitment, the hope is that H2F and similar initiatives can also be introduced to the civilian sector. This will enable future recruits to learn healthy habits before joining the service.

“This program is a huge investment in our future,” Donohue said, before referencing former President Kennedy’s emphasis on fitness. “It was a call for our nation to become more fit and healthy so that we can have longer and more enjoyable lives. There are some people who feel intimated by going into the gym. We want to demystify it.”

Morrow also talked about how The American Legion can play a role in encouraging veterans to be active and healthy. This may include using a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program, connecting with other veteran service organizations and more.

“The VA’s Whole Health program does some cool things for veterans with access to programs,” he noted. “The community aspect is so huge in changing people’s beliefs about fitness, adding that social element, adding that purpose. It will help a lot to get people to participate in these programs.”

Other topics co-hosted by Ashley Gutermuth and Jeff Daly include:

• Do military families need their own Bill of Rights?

• A wilderness program that helps disabled veterans find their identity, purpose and community.

• The old Air Force tire test is officially a thing of the past.

For all that and more, check out this week’s episode, which is among more than 160 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play, or other major podcast hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.

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