News: 100 percent fitness, wellness tests for new Fort Bliss soldiers
Story by Sgt. Edward Garibay
FORT BLISS, Texas – Since January, every soldier who in-processes at Fort Bliss must complete a full Comprehensive Soldier Fitness evaluation, with a physical fitness assessment and body composition test, at the Wellness Fusion Campus located near the corner of Cassidy Road and Jeb Stuart Road.
The WFC, which is a compilation of installation resources, such as Army Community Service, Milam Gym and Integrative Medicine, works with the welcome center to provide a seven-day course built to strengthen and evaluate soldiers in the Five Pillars of CSF – emotional, family, physical, social and spiritual.
At the end of it, soldiers receive a three-page report including an evaluation of their ability to perform within the Physical Readiness Training program, a body composition reading as measured by a $7,000 sensor and a list of organizations to help soldiers with specific issues identified by a scientifically developed questionnaire.
A copy of the report is also forwarded to the receiving commander, but no punitive action will be taken against the soldier because of it, said Lt. Col. Leonard Q. Gruppo Jr., dean of the WFC.
“This is just to help people have an honest assessment of where they’re at,” said Gruppo referencing the report. “We want to let people know what areas they’re being challenged in and plug them into the help that’s available on post.”
Additionally, in-processing soldiers are taught the fundamentals of PRT, the newest standard of Army fitness as outlined in Training Circular 3-22.20, and are given basic resilience training, which is a series of mental techniques used to build mental toughness and overcome adversity.
Gruppo said building resilience, in particular, is one of the most important functions of the WFC. The principles taught by Master Resiliency Trainers are the same principles that have been utilized by successful people for millennia.
“I think going through this will make me a better leader,” said Pfc. Chad Vaneck, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic talking about his recent in-processing experience at Fort Bliss. “It teaches me the PRT; it teaches me the leadership skills. Everything is centered and made for the soldier.”
The WFC, a first-of-its-kind resource, provides all of these services and more to soldiers, families and civilian employees at any time in an effort to build resilience on post. The Fort Bliss community can enjoy a range of amenities on the WFC, including one-on-one personal training, group psychotherapy, financial counseling and even use of the body composition sensor. More information and appointments can be obtained by calling 915-568-3489.
“Our goal is to have the most fit, healthy, resilient community in the world,” said Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commanding general of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
The hope is for Fort Bliss to create a new standard for soldier resilience and to not only bring a WFC to East Bliss, but to spread the program Army-wide, said Gruppo.
“This is all part of building a culture of resiliency at Fort Bliss,” said Gruppo. “If you take this stuff to heart, you can really improve your life – you can optimize your life.”