Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Commanding General Brig. Gen. James Bonner wishes the community a Happy Thanksgiving and discusses the importance of maintaining physical and mental fitness.
On Thursday, we celebrate Thanksgiving, kicking off the holiday season for many families. 2020 has been a challenging year, but this holiday provides a great opportunity to reset and be thankful.
From our first responders battling the pandemic to our men and women overseas in harm’s way, our people are working every day to make this country and the world a better place. Let us give thanks for all of the service members, civilians and family members whose sacrifices allow us to enjoy the freedoms we have as citizens of this great nation.
The Thanksgiving break is the busiest travel season in the United States. We are committed to giving everyone a chance to spend some time with their friends and loved ones. However, we need you all to be good battle buddies over the break to ensure we all come back safely. My battle buddy — Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena — and I will be looking out for each other over the break and we will count on you to do the same for one another.
If you travel — regardless of distance — plan for increased traffic, weather and other risk factors. Inspect your vehicle, stock emergency supplies, wear seatbelts and obey posted speed limits. Do not drive and text or use a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or while sleep deprived.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still an unfortunate reality in our country. The start of flu season further complicates our response and increases the risk of serious infection. If you choose to travel, ensure you understand and adhere to the guidance and restrictions of individual states, counties, cities and municipalities. In terms of health protection, be prudent in leisure, entertainment and dining activities. Maintain 6 feet of distance, wash your hands in warm water for 20 seconds and wear masks. Continue to comply with General Order No. 4 and continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The holidays can be difficult for many people. Be mindful of your teammates and be sensitive to signs of distress. Reach out and be there for your battle buddies over the holiday season.
You are all a vital part of our Team of Teams. Thank you for all you do and Happy Thanksgiving.
Victory starts here — victory through skill.
H2F for physical, mental health
I have written several articles on trust and leadership in our profession. Our mission requires us to be physically fit, but we must also build our mental and spiritual fitness.
The Army recently published a major update to Field Manual 7-22, changing the title from “Army Physical Readiness Training” to “Holistic Health and Fitness,” or H2F.
The new publication talks about individual Soldier readiness in five areas: physical, nutritional, sleep, mental and spiritual.
Taking care of ourselves with exercise, healthy food, and sleep builds good physical health.
Making time for spiritual and mental health builds resilience and prepares us to handle stress.
We must make every effort to prepare ourselves and our teams to combat life’s stressors. Listen to teammates and help them to adapt during hard times. Provide resources and training to foster resilience and mental health. Work to inspire hope and ground each other in our noble profession and values.
This article touches a small, but important, portion of H2F. I encourage all of you to explore FM 7-22, “Holistic Health and Fitness,” and apply it to your formations.