FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A group from the Army’s Medical Command met with senior leaders from the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion recently for a site survey in preparation for the 189th CSSB’s participation in the Performance Triad pilot program.
The Performance Triad is a developing, new Army initiative designed to help balance three areas of the soldier’s lifestyle which have the most significant impact on the readiness of the force.
Those components – activity, nutrition, and sleep, or ANS – are essential to improving the health of soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and DA families, say Army Medicine senior leaders.
Fort Bragg’s 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion was chosen from across the Army as one of three trial unit’s to participate in the Performance Triad pilot program. The other locations selected to participate are Fort Bliss and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The pilot program was designed with three types of units in mind to test and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Performance Triad: Combat Arms, Combat Support and Combat Service Support.
The 189th CSSB falls into the Combat Service Support category. When the Office of the Surgeon General put out the call for units to support the pilot program, the commander of the CSSB was quick to answer.
“When I looked at the Performance Triad and how it is specific to the individual soldier, that struck a chord with me,” said Lt. Colonel Theodore White, the 189th CSSB commander. “What I think makes us uniquely qualified for this is our population is very different. As you go from the front line back to the rear, you end up with a different population of soldiers as far as backgrounds, ethnic diversity and age groups.”
The Performance Triad program directly supports and complements the Department of Defense's Operation Live Well, the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign, as well as the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program.
Key to Performance Triad is motivating individuals and units to reach their peak performance, readiness and health through good habits of activity, nutrition, and sleep.
Daily objectives include taking 10,000 steps, eating a variety of eight fruits and vegetables and getting seven to eight hours of sleep.
“Fitness is not just PT. It is a combination of a myriad of factors,” said White. “It involves making the right choices about activity, nutrition and sleep, because all of that has an impact on your performance.”
In late October, the 189th CSSB will initiate their Performance Triad pilot program beginning with unit training and education.
The 26-week training program will consist of three phases: Assessment, Implementation, and Support and Sustainment. The training during these phases will focus on inserting the Performance Triad into the soldier's daily routine, or “Life space.”
This training is intended to empower squad leaders to serve as the catalyst for enhancing performance across the formation and will include weekly 10 minute vignettes and performance challenges.
The program is expected to end in early April, 2014.
“The squad leader is the center of the universe for the soldier. The focus is on those squad leaders and to get them more involved.” White elaborated. “It is very interactive. There are components here that will draw their interests and should create a little competition. I think it will be received well and they will embrace it.”
Another unique facet to Performance Triad is its use of technology. Throughout the 26-week pilot program, soldiers of the 189th CSSB, as well as a select group of 82nd Sustainment Brigade Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan will use Fitbits, a Personal Performance Device, to help monitor and track their performance. These PPDs are linkable to a variety of smart phone apps and are also supported online through various websites geared towards fitness, health and wellness.
Army Medical leaders are hoping that through this broad and integrated approach they will capture soldiers’ attention and focus it on striving for greater health and fitness like never before.
“This is our moment,” said Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, commander of Army Medical Command. “We have the right strategy, the right plan and senior leaders willing to support us. We have to give them a viable plan. When the Army embraces this and it is in our DNA, then and only then can we consider this program a success.”
For more information about the Performance Triad, as well as other news and information about Army health and wellness, go to www.armymedicine.army.mil.