The Army has officially added holistic health to its updated physical fitness doctrine. The doctrine aims to prevent injuries, increase soldiers’ lethality and be an essential component of individual readiness.

Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) was introduced on October 1 in the Army Field Manual 7-22. The manual covers the force’s doctrine on physical readiness training, said Maj. Gen. Lonnie G. Hibbard, commander of the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training.

As H2F takes its place in Army doctrine, Hibbard hopes to hit the ground running into the fiscal year 2021, especially as the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, is set to become the fitness test record.

“[Holistic Health and Fitness] will be the supporting blocks of the ACFT,” Hibbard said. Further, he added that that’s why H2F is rolling out at the same time as the new six-event ACFT.

General James McConville said that “Investing in health and benefits our soldiers and their families. It also ensures the sustainment of an agile and adaptive Army, ready to provide the Nation with a professional, lethal, and decisive force that will win against any adversary.”

A New Comprehensive Approach to Training and Readiness

Holistic Health and Fitness is an all-inclusive initiative designed to integrate personnel, equipment, facilities, programming, and education. Its purpose is to produce physically and mentally brutal soldiers ready to defeat enemies in future warfare, Hibbard said.

“[Holistic Health and Fitness] is the framework to encompass all aspects of human performance to include physical, sleep, nutritional, spiritual, and mental fitness,” he said. This “optimizes soldiers’ readiness, reduces injury rates, improves rehabilitation after injury, and increases the overall effectiveness of the total Army.”

The initiative comes as part of the Army’s cultural shift in the way commanders train, develop, and care for their soldiers. After all, the soldiers are a commander’s most crucial weapon system.