KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—Long hours at work and separation from families can have a negative effect on the morale and mental well being of soldiers, but the 3rd Sustainment Brigade has implemented Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness while deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, to counteract those effects.
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness is an enduring U.S. Army initiative intended to help increase physical and psychological health, resilience and enhance soldiers, family members and Army civilians’ performance.
“It’s a commander’s program that helps soldiers to become more balanced,” said Capt. Dana Cook, 3rd Sustainment Brigade’s master resilience trainer. “It teaches soldiers how to handle challenges and adversities in everyday and deployment life, and this is done through the program’s five dimensions.”
CSF2 is broken down into five areas of strength and human health—physical, social, emotional, family and spiritual.
Sergeant First Class Orlando Guzman, who has a bachelor’s degree in physical education, is helping 3rd Sustainment Brigade soldiers stay mentally and physically tough during their nine-month deployment.
“I incorporate my prior military and civilian training in sharing what I know with the soldiers through formal and informal counseling and also through demonstration,” said Guzman, the 3rd Sustainment Brigade postal service non-commissioned officer in charge.
Guzman, a Chicago native, says it is important to have an engaged and caring leadership and to lead by example. He uses Comprehensive Soldiers Fitness to help his troops reach and exceed their goals.
“Together, the soldiers and I determine their strengths and weakness,” he said, “and I work out with them, side-by-side, so that they see firsthand that leaders truly care. I think it motivates them to want to do it if someone is embracing the challenge to do it with them.”
The goal of CSF2’s physical dimension is to achieve and maintain a healthy mind and body. While Guzman has helped his soldiers lose weight, Spc. Ayesha Hudlun said her NCO has in turn helped her gain confidence and trust.
“Sergeant 1st Class Guzman has helped me lose body fat and come off the overweight program by going to the gym with me twice a day,” said Hudlun, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., and postal service specialist with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. “He pushes me to do my best. It motivates me to want to keep going to the gym and do more, and I appreciate him for that.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Forbes Daniels, the senior enlisted adviser for the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, said that the CSF2 initiative helps keep a healthy and balanced team, capable of completing any mission.
“If the soldiers are both psychologically and physically fit, then their confidence levels are up and they are able accomplish any task at hand,” he said.
This article is the first of a five-part series related to Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness.
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This work, Providers sustain a healthy force through Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, by SSG Tanjie Patterson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.