The 7th Infantry Division’s (Task Force Bayonet) number-one priority under the readiness umbrella is to strengthen Soldier, civilian and family fitness. Our Soldiers must be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit to ensure we are fully ready to deploy and perform all aspects of our job in combat.
The purpose of the Bayonet Warrior Athlete Program is to build and sustain personnel readiness through a holistic approach to individual health and fitness.
The first thing we want to do is educate all Task Force Bayonet leaders on all aspects of personal fitness which include proper execution of exercises, proper nutrition and proper recovery. Our Bayonet Academy is now teaching a 40-hour program of instruction focused on functional fitness principles and exercise execution.
The lead instructors are all Master Fitness Trainer-certified, as this is the Army’s recognized program for fitness education. The Bayonet Academy has already incorporated the courses into Army Training Requirements and Resources System for course scheduling for commanders, noncommissioned officers and physical readiness training leaders, and we have completed three classes to date.
Additionally, the Performance Triad University, run by the 555th Engineer Brigade, conducts seminars that will promote holistic health through sleep, activity and nutrition.
The second thing we wanted to do is implement across Task Force Bayonet is a comprehensive fitness and wellness program that includes properly integrating new Soldiers, rehabilitating our injured reserve Soldiers, educating them on lifestyle choices and ensure progression of fitness and readiness.
We have integrated physical therapists and surgeons into our special conditioning programs. Our medical service members confirm the exercises and schedules and provide direction and supervision to the functional fitness coaches.
We also work in conjunction with our Master Fitness Trainers in the areas of the Army’s physical readiness training integration;
• pregnancy and postpartum physical training,
• weight control,
• Army physical fitness test failures,
• upper- and lower-body rehabilitation,
• athletic performance tests.
Additionally, our chaplains will provide a spiritual fitness block of instruction during the course.
We are currently in the process of a 10-month fielding plan for transportable and deployable “gym in a box” systems to be issued to each company-level unit. We will resource, equip, educate, compete, incentivize, and assess, in order to sustain our momentum. We have also integrated external resources on Joint Base Lewis-McCord, such as the Army Wellness Center and the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, which are phenomenal resources, that our Soldiers and families use.
Major General Thomas James, 7th ID commanding general, and I are truly excited about this program. We have visited all classes to this point and our Soldiers are incredibly excited about the program.
None of this would have been possible without the vision and absolute focus our commanding general has on total fitness. We are a team of Army professionals who are combat ready.