Category Archives: Features

NCO’s howitzer innovation expected to save Army money, lives

NCO Journal report

Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. Wesley Todd has invented a device for light towed howitzers that improves Soldier safety and equipment longevity. It’s also expected to save the Army hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The device is a tool that allows Soldiers to remove seized muzzle brakes more easily, without the sometimes damaging force previously required. His innovation saves the barrel, which can cost more than $265,000, and preserves its rifling.

“Before, it was difficult to remove the muzzle brake that often can seize up in varying weather conditions,” explained Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Murphy, armament supervisor. “To remove it, Soldiers would often take a sledgehammer to the muzzle brake.”

Todd designed and fabricated the removal tool after watching Soldiers struggle with a seized-up muzzle brake. He describes his invention as basically a round steel plug with a notched end that attaches to the muzzle brake. The tool is used to turn it.

“Sgt. Todd has shown how a … Soldier can improve a process for the entire Army, and his leadership has shown us a great example of how to listen to your Soldiers’ ideas and help them implement positive changes,” said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard.

Sgt. Wesley Todd, of La Porte, Indiana, checks the measurements on the device he invented at the machine shop in the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in North Riverside, Illinois. The device, designed for the light towed howitzer, improves Soldier safety and equipment longevity. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams / Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)
Sgt. Wesley Todd, of La Porte, Indiana, checks the measurements on the device he invented at the machine shop in the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in North Riverside, Illinois. The device, designed for the light towed howitzer, improves Soldier safety and equipment longevity. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams / Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

Todd is assigned to B Company, 935th Aviation Support Battalion at Chicago’s Midway International Airport. He works as a machinist at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop, where he repairs damaged parts and makes new parts for military vehicles and equipment.

His muzzle brake removal invention was the first piece of equipment that he has designed and fabricated himself, but he has also made modifications to automotive tools that allow for the replacement of certain parts and decrease the damage to the parts during repair.

“Various units throughout Illinois contact our department … looking for possible changes to issued equipment that will meet their specific needs,” he said. “And I endeavor to go above and beyond to make that happen for them.”

Born in 1981 in Decatur, Illinois, Todd nevertheless considers La Porte, Indiana, his home. He graduated from Oak Hill High School, Oak Hill, Ohio, in 1999 and earned a bachelor’s degree in the arts and graphic design in 2005 from Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfathers who served in World War II and his three uncles who later served in the Army, Todd joined the Army in 2007.

His first assignment was with a combat engineer unit in Ashland, Kentucky. To date, his jobs in the Army have included combat engineer, military policeman, wheeled vehicle mechanic and allied trades machinist/welder.

Todd considers selfless service the most important Army Value.

“Each Soldier needs to be willing to put his own needs and wants last, without seeking recognition for what he does or sacrifices,” he said.

He believes the key to being a good leader is knowing “the ins and outs” of his or her chosen field and having the ability to impart that knowledge. He advises anyone planning to join the Army to have a sound reason and purpose for doing so and “never lose sight of their purpose or desire.”

Todd and his wife, Amy, were married in 2008 and have three girls: Izabella, Marisa, and Alexis. Todd said he admires his father for “setting an example for me to strive to be what I am today.”

Todd hopes eventually to retire as a chief warrant officer and plans, as a civilian, to use his skills to improve and benefit the Army.

He said, “In the future, I would love to work in a position researching and developing various military equipment and systems.”

Career program helps cut Soldier unemployment payments to 13-year low

NCO Journal report

As it turns out, former Soldier Jonathan Quinones has a “knack” for real estate — and he might have never known had he not participated in the Career Skills Program.

“Real estate has been a lucrative field so far,” said Quinones, who is now working for the St. Robert Realtor who facilitated an internship for the Career Skills Program.

The program, which officially started in March 2015, provides Soldiers the opportunity to participate in career internships while finishing up their military careers.

A pilot of the program started in 2014 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

It “was so successful, it has spread to installations around the country,” said Chevina Phillips, Education Services specialist at Truman Education Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

“Today there are more than 76 programs,” Phillips said. “The number of programs will increase because there are many being developed.”

Officials are committed to providing more opportunities for transitioning Soldiers to leave the service career-ready through programs such as this one and others fostered by the Soldier For Life — Transition Assistance Program.

The Army closed out Fiscal Year 2016 with the lowest amount of Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX) in 13 years at $172.8 million, according to the Department of Labor. Fiscal Year 2016 is the first time UCX has dipped below the $200 million mark since 2003, when it closed out at $152 million. The decrease in unemployment compensation is encouraging to transitioning Soldiers and Army Veterans looking to find employment, pursue education, or access other civilian opportunities.

Henry Mare works on an electronics test station at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Hydropower Branch's Electronics Service Section at Old Hickory Dam in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Mare recently transitioned out of the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and has been working as an intern. The Corps recently selected him for a position as an electronics technician. The Army closed out Fiscal Year 2016 with the lowest amount of Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members in 13 years, according to the Department of Labor. (Photo courtesy of Army Human Resources Command)
Henry Mare works on an electronics test station at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Hydropower Branch’s Electronics Service Section at Old Hickory Dam in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Mare recently transitioned out of the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and has been working as an intern. The Corps recently selected him for a position as an electronics technician. The Army closed out Fiscal Year 2016 with the lowest amount of Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members in 13 years, according to the Department of Labor. (Photo courtesy of Army Human Resources Command)

Army UCX expenditures peaked in 2011 at $515 million and have been decreasing since that time due to a combination of economic factors and Army efforts to better prepare Soldiers for the civilian sector. Integrating Soldiers back into the civilian world successfully depends on a number of determinants, including civilian industry knowledge of valuable veteran skill sets, dispelling myths about veterans, as well as local economic conditions, according to the Army’s Human Resources Command. Soldiers and Army veterans must also be motivated and prepared to educate themselves on matching their career goals, skills, and location desires with the civilian sector.

“We are excited to see that more Army Veterans are finding careers after they transition off of active duty service and fewer are having to file for unemployment compensation,” said retired Col. Walter Herd, Director of the SFL-TAP, which is based at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

In the past few years, the Army has placed substantial efforts in assisting Soldiers with developing civilian career skills during their transition through a remodeled Army transition program. SFL-TAP is required to be completed by all Soldiers with at least 180 days of continuous active duty service.

The program teaches Soldiers career skills such as resume writing, financial planning, benefits education, job application preparation, military skills translation, and more, which has resulted in Soldiers becoming more prepared for civilian life.

“SFL-TAP works to provide opportunities to Soldiers who are looking to pursue an education, entrepreneurship, or a career,” Herd said. “We provide Soldiers a wide variety of resources, counseling, classes, and skills programs to better prepare and connect them to the civilian sector.”

The Army has partnered with the Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Small Business Administration, and various Veteran Service Organizations to offer courses to transitioning Soldiers. The Army also works with major employers across the country to educate companies on the value of hiring veterans and to connect Soldiers to civilian opportunities.

Phillips said Fort Leonard Wood’s program began through the SFL-TAP and is now administered through the education center.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for all transitioning service members to participate in,” Phillips said. “(It) is very beneficial to the service member not just because of the employment opportunity, but it allows service members to explore career areas they are interested in where they normally wouldn’t have access.”

David Holbrook, owner of the St. Robert realty company that provided Quinones’ internship, said the program has provided him with two quality employees.

“I think it’s a great program,” Holbrook said. “When I retired from the military, it’s something that wasn’t available for me. It prepares (service members) for life after the military. It’s like going back to college while still on active duty. It’s worked out great for me” as an employer.

Internship providers work with the education center to provide interns with a course of study and benchmarks to meet while taking part in the program. Soldiers who do the internships in real estate, and successfully complete the program, leave the Army as licensed real estate agents.

Fort Leonard Wood has six approved programs: two real estate programs, programs with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, a local investment group and Bunker Labs, Phillips said.

“We are constantly looking for new programs to start and are currently working on four others,” she added.

Timothy Willingham retired from the Army as a sergeant first class. He finished out his career as an intern with the U.S. Geological Survey in Rolla, Missouri.

“I initially was supposed to do a month in different sections of USGS. It turned out I only ended up working in one section because they needed help — the elevation unit,” Willingham said.

After his internship, Willingham went to work for USGS doing quality control.

The Career Skills Program “is a great benefit, and Soldiers should take advantage if they can,” Willingham said.

Quinones said the design of the program helped accelerate the learning curve for becoming a real estate agent.

He said it gave him a path of instruction to follow.

“This program eased my anxiety of not having enough money when I retired from the Army,” he said.

Jeffery Isom became the installation administrator for the Career Skills Program in October. Isom, a retired Soldier, said he has a passion for the program and seeing the impact it can have on the lives of transitioning Soldiers — especially those planning on remaining in Missouri.

“I believe this program affords the transitioning service members the opportunity to gain civilian experience that will increase their chances of obtaining suitable employment,” Isom said.

In the coming months, he hopes to see the program marketed on a larger scale while partnering with more area organizations to create internships, apprenticeships and job-shadowing opportunities.

“This will benefit both the transitioning service members and their families and also the remaining active-duty service members who are deserving of the best equipment and training available,” he said. “All transitioning service members are entitled to outstanding transition services.”


SMA unveils bonuses, incentives to retain Soldiers for million-strong force

Read more: Questions, answers about the Army’s new talent management program

NCO Journal report

With the total Army tasked to expand by 28,000 troops this year, the service hopes to retain quality Soldiers with incentives, such as cash bonuses up to $10,000 for extensions, the Army’s top enlisted member said this month.

“We need Soldiers to stay in the Army,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said during a town hall meeting at the Defense Information School. “If you’re on the fence [and you plan to get out this year], go see your career counselor. I guarantee you that they have some good news.”

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 recently raised the Army’s end strength to just over 1 million Soldiers for all components. Initial proposals had the entire Army slated to draw down to 980,000 by the end of this year. The NDAA increased the active force by 16,000, to an end strength of 476,000, and also bumped the reserve component by 12,000.

The troop surge would represent the Army’s largest yearly increase without using a draft or stop-loss involuntary extension and will double its annual retention mission, Dailey said.

“We’re not in a drawdown anymore; we’re in an increase situation,” he said. “The Army is going to get bigger.”

Soldiers who decide to extend their service for 12 months may receive the cash bonus, up to $10,000, depending on their military occupational specialty, time in service and re-enlistment eligibility, he added.

Choice of duty location, stabilization at duty stations, chances to extend service rather than re-enlist, and incentives such as schools are other ways the Army hopes to retain its own. Assignment and training options vary by MOS.

“There are some very creative things we’re going to do to stimulate all of that,” he said. “The important thing Soldiers need to know is to ensure they talk to their career counselors. They are the experts at the unit level who can tailor options based on a Soldier’s specific situation and MOS.”

Dailey also highlighted readiness, as the Army transitions from an emphasis on counterinsurgency to full-spectrum operations, which will require an adaptable, well-trained, and ready force. Currently, more than 180,000 Soldiers are serving in no fewer than 140 nations around the globe.

Education benefits for enlisted Soldiers are also improving, he said, with “huge systematic changes” to the NCO professional development system, ongoing reviews of common core for all career fields, and possible expansion of tuition assistance.

“We need to change the dynamic in how we train and educate our Soldiers,” Dailey said.

Military training, he said, can help Soldiers obtain college degrees through the Army University’s credentialing program.

Under the NDAA, Congress has authorized the Army to pay for credentials that translate to a civilian occupation as long as it relates to an MOS, a Soldier’s regular duties, and during a Soldier’s transition out of the Army.

“We have permission to pay for your credentials for the job you do in the Army,” he said. “That’s not a bad deal.”

The Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program also informs Soldiers how to use their military training toward certificates and licenses required for civilian professions, such as electrician, plumber, welder, and many other jobs.

In addition, the Army is working toward letting Soldiers use tuition assistance to pay for these certificates and licenses, Dailey said.

These efforts, he said, will allow Soldiers to thrive in the civilian sector once they leave the service.

“We have a responsibility to prepare you for that, just like we prepare you for war,” he said. “Simultaneously, by doing that we’re making you a better Soldier.”

These changes may also convince many Soldiers to keep serving or even persuade potential recruits to sign up.

“It sends a perception across America that we value people,” Dailey said. “We want to stay at a competitive level and make sure that we get the right people to join.

“It’s a reinvestment in the all-volunteer force of the future.”

Q&A: the Army’s new talent management program

Army Sustainment magazine

For the first time, the Army will use a talent management process that integrates the personnel records of active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard Soldiers into one system. Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, the Army deputy chief of staff, G-1, shares his insights into the service’s new talent management program and explains how it will change the Army and improve readiness.

Q: Can you describe the Army’s new talent management program?

A: The Army’s most important weapon is its people. Where the other services may man equipment, what we do is equip the Soldiers, the women and men who are the Army. That’s where talent management comes into play.

What we are doing is moving the Army from an industrial age personnel management system to a 21st century talent management system. This will allow us to manage the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of all of our Soldiers in both the active and reserve components so that we can get the right Soldier in the right job at the right time.

Q: How will the new talent management program work?

A: We will have a new integrated personnel and pay system. For the first time in the history of the Army, we will have active, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers in one personnel system. This gives us visibility over the entire force.

In the National Guard and Reserve, we have Soldiers with tremendous talents learned from their civilian jobs that we may not see when we manage them by rank and military occupational specialty. They may run a construction company on the side, they may be a design engineer, or they may have skill sets in technology — and we will now be able to see that.

We will be able to describe all lower enlisted Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers beyond their basic branches. We will be able to develop a profile of their knowledge, skills, and behaviors; and we will define them with more variables than we do now, which is basically two variables — rank and military occupational specialty.

We will be able to define Soldiers by multiple variables: the countries they have visited, the language skills they have, if they are airborne or air assault qualified, how many combat deployments they have, how many flying hours they have and in which types of aircraft, and their certifications and hobbies. We will have a much better idea of what talents a Soldier can contribute.

We also want to know what Soldiers want to do and where they want to go. If we can match these desires and have them do the things they are passionate about where they want to do them, we think we will be a much better Army going forward. We are working very aggressively to implement these initiatives, and we think they will fundamentally change the way that the Army operates.

Q: Does all of this fit with the chief of staff of the Army’s number one priority of readiness?

A: Absolutely. Readiness is defined by four factors: manning, equipping, training, and leader development. The talent management initiative really focuses on improving the Army’s manning and leader development.

Q: Is the issue of nondeployable personnel affecting talent management?

A: We have fewer Soldiers in the Army, so every single Soldier has to be able to get on the field and play their position, both at home and away. If Soldiers cannot deploy, then we need to take a hard look at their ability to stay in the Army.

If there are Soldiers with deployment limitations who have certain talents that are critical to the mission, and they can contribute in nondeployable ways, we need to consider that. But as a general rule as we go forward, Soldiers will have to be able to deploy for the away games because that is what the Army does.

Q: Will you be changing broadening assignments for officers?

A: Some people think broadening assignments are just going to graduate school. It is much more than that. We have gone to three categories of broadening assignments.

The first is tactical broadening. These assignments are for those Soldiers who want to excel at tactical assignments outside of their area, [such as] going to a Ranger battalion, going to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or going to a special mission unit.

The second is institutional broadening. These Soldiers become trainers at the combat training centers, they become small-group instructors, they become recruiters, or they teach ROTC. We have tremendous opportunities for Soldiers to serve in the institutional Army.

The third category is scholastic broadening. Here we will send Soldiers to top-tier graduate schools or they will be Joint Chiefs of Staff or congressional fellows or instructors at the U.S. Military Academy.

Q: You spent many years as an aviator. How did you manage talent?

A: I would spend a lot of time with the Soldiers who I rated and senior rated. I would begin the conversation by asking, “What do you want to do in the future?” And once you start to have that conversation, you can determine, first of all, if they want to stay in the Army. That is a good question to start with. And if they do not want to stay in the Army, find out what they want to do in the civilian world and help them get ready for civilian life.

If they said they wanted to stay in the military, I would ask, “Where do you see yourself in 10, 15, or 20 years? Do you want to be a battalion commander? Do you want to be a sergeant major?” Once you know that, then you can start developing a path with them to achieve their objectives.

Only 10 percent of enlisted Soldiers stay for 20 years to retire; and only 30 percent of officers stay for 20 years to retire. So it is very important that we identify the best Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers and manage their talent appropriately.

Q: Will the Army’s recruiting processes change?

A: We are looking at putting better screening measures in place to ensure we get the quality Soldiers we need for the future. We are getting ready to put forward the occupational physical assessment test, which is a physical test on a recruit’s potential.

We know the attributes that we want in Soldiers as we go forward. We know that we want resilient and fit Soldiers of character. What we are trying to do is put in place screening tests and assessments with more fidelity that will help identify those recruits that have the potential to be high-quality Soldiers.

We also want to ensure Soldiers have the character needed to serve in the Army. This is very important. The number one reason Soldiers do not complete their first term is misconduct, and that comes down to character. Number two is alcohol and drug abuse, and that’s either resilience or character. And numbers three, four, five, and six are related to physical and mental illnesses or disabilities. So we want to screen for all of these very important factors up front.

Q: How are Soldiers doing when they leave the Army?

A: As Soldiers leave, we give them two missions: hire and inspire. What we mean by hire is we want them to go into the civilian world, live the American dream, take advantage of the GI Bill benefits, get a great job, raise their families, then get to a point where they are hiring veterans just like them.

And when they have the opportunity, we want them to inspire young men and women to come into the military and serve just like they did. We want to give young men and women the opportunity to do one of the most important things they will do in their lives: serve their country.

Right now, we are pretty happy–not satisfied, but happy–that the unemployment rate for our veterans is lower than the national unemployment rate, which is at about 5 percent. That is pretty amazing. We would like more Soldiers to use their educational benefits; only 30 percent are using the GI Bill. We want more to take advantage so they can better themselves.

Q: What one tip would you give to a new Soldier?

A: The most important thing is to be willing to learn. The Army expects you to come in physically fit and with integrity, and that allows you to perform those tasks you need to do. Everything else we will teach you.


Program teaches future sergeants major to boost Soldiers’ wellness

Read more


NCO Journal

The new year will bring a crop of sergeants major with a new outlook on wellness.

Class 67 at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy is taking part in the Executive Wellness Program, which is intended to merge information on the Performance Triad with resilience training to help new sergeants major become better Soldiers and leaders.

“We’re trying to bring those two together to help mitigate health issues and optimize readiness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Darin E. Elkins, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Executive Wellness Center at USASMA. “With the Performance Triad — sleep, activity, nutrition — we’re doing a baseline assessment.”

Students were screened about their personal habits, including questions about whether they got enough sleep, how many fruits and vegetables they ate, how much activity they engaged in, and whether they had any pain.

The baseline assessment took place in the fall, near the beginning of Class 67’s instruction. In addition to questions, each of the more than 600 students were run through physical drills such as short sprints, one-footed hops, and holding yoga positions to assess their speed, dexterity and flexibility — as well as identify any lingering pain. The students also underwent vital signs tests and used a machine to check their body fat composition, a more precise measurement than the commonly checked body mass index.

A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy's Class 67 does a one-legged hop during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)
A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s Class 67 does a one-legged hop during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)

As part of the assessments on each area of the triad, the students were coded as green, amber or red — green meaning doing well, amber indicating borderline performance in an area and red suggesting the Soldiers need to improve their sleep, activity or nutrition habits.

Immediately after the assessment, Soldiers met with a dietitian, a physical therapist and a clinical social worker to discuss their results.

At the final station of the assessment, Elkins said, wellness program representatives made sure all the students were signed up for RelayHealth, a Web portal that provides access and appointments to doctors and other health professionals, and knew how to use it and what resources the site provides.

The baseline assessment was just the start of the program, Elkins said. Throughout their time at USASMA at Fort Bliss, Texas, the students of Class 67 will be given further assessments and access to information and resources to help them improve their health and resilience and to teach their Soldiers to do the same when they return to their units as sergeants major.

“They all get a baseline, to know where they are,” Elkins said. “The idea is to have them identify those mitigating issues and then at the end of the school year or the class year, do another baseline to see if there are any changes: Did they learn anything? How can they use that information to take out to the operational Army when they leave here? How can they best optimize readiness for their Soldiers?”

“You build on (the baseline assessment) to change habits or to incorporate better habits,” he continued. “I’ve dropped modules in strategically throughout the school year.”

Elkins said 24 modules, each focusing on different aspects of the Performance Triad or resilience, are available electronically for discussion as part of Class 67’s coursework. The Executive Wellness Program also provides information guides, challenge guides and other technological resources to better teach the future sergeants major how to set wellness goals, eat for performance, enhance Physical Readiness Training and deal with sleep deprivation.

A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy's Class 67 stretches in a yoga pose during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)
A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s Class 67 stretches in a yoga pose during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)

Representatives from the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness office at USASMA also took part in the Executive Wellness Program assessments. CSF2 will teach Class 67 the Master Resilience Training course, and Elkins said including the office in Performance Triad training will help teachers “bring it all together” when it comes to the effects of sleep, nutrition and activity on mental resilience.

Elkins said, “There are a lot of things Soldiers don’t know, especially when they’re 19, 20, 21,” about treating pain, behavioral health, using dietitians or receiving physical therapy.

“Some of the ownership needs to be on the individual,” Elkins said, “but they can’t own it if they don’t know what the resources are. So we try to help them identify some of the ailments, some of the things they’re not doing well. Now they can address that on their own.”

Master Sgt. Decarlo Johnson, a student in Class 67, said he was all green after the assessment. He said he arrived at USASMA fairly familiar with the Performance Triad and tried to implement optimizing techniques already.

He was, however, new to the body fat composition testing machines.

“I was interested to see what my body fat composition was, and I think they should do that more for Soldiers with the machine,” Johnson said. “That’s a great machine to have. If you had that in the unit, Soldiers would be more aware of their body fat and what they need to do to maintain” their weight.

Even though the concepts of the Performance Triad and resilience were familiar to him, he was excited to see the Executive Wellness Program for new sergeants major.

A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy's Class 67 does a standing a jump during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)
A student in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s Class 67 does a standing a jump during an assessment for the Executive Wellness Program. (Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones / NCO Journal)

“It’ll definitely help,” he said of the wellness program. “We have Soldiers who are overweight who can benefit from the nutrition and sleep (information) if they have problems with sleeping. If you get your sleep right, nutrition might be better, so I think it’ll benefit a lot in the unit.”

Lt. Col. Cyndi McLean, a physical therapist from the Executive Wellness Office at USASMA, said Johnson’s realization that each aspect of the Performance Triad affects the others is exactly what the program is trying to teach.

“If you consider one aspect of that triangle, if you’re doing really well, you’re probably going to have some benefits carry over to the other aspects of that triangle,” she said. “If you’re not doing so well in one of those corners of the triangle, you might be having some negative detriments in the other areas as well. The intent is to make sure that you’re optimizing each of those categories to make sure that you’re being the best Soldier that you possibly can.

“In this setting, we’re not only asking them to look at that for themselves personally but professionally,” McLean continued. “These are the senior leaders who are going to be in charge of those formations in just a few months. They’re going to be those sergeants major. Are they making sure their Soldiers are optimizing their performance with regards to sleep, activity, nutrition?”