March Blog Topic: Total Force Fitness: Mind, Body and Spirit

This month’s blog topic again takes us to the cutting edge of mental health for military personnel.

Total Force Fitness is an integrated approach to health and fitness initiated by the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. It breaks down into eight domains:


  • Psychological
  • Behavioral
  • Spiritual
  • Social


  • Physical
  • Medical and dental
  • Nutritional
  • Environmental

Total Force Fitness is for all service branches and is designed to be prevention focused, individual centric, and it recognizes the family as the central element of the TFF equation.

As individuals, we are complex organisms. So too are the environments we live and work in and the challenges of our everyday lives. For members of the military and their families, who face deployment and all its extreme stressors, these challenges can be even greater. That’s why it was deemed necessary to formulate a holistic approach to health and fitness.

“Total Force Fitness abolishes the concept that ‘fitness’ is just physical and incorporates both the body and the mind,” explained Stephen S. Frost, MD, director, Human Performance Resource Center, Uniformed Services University.

This is quite revolutionary. After all, who, in bygone eras, would have considered a soldier’s spiritual well-being as being something in need of monitoring and nurturing? Who would have suspected that, for example, transcendental meditation might play a role alongside traditional counseling? But it is this all-encompassing, thinking-outside-the-box approach that makes Total Force Fitness so valuable.

“Total fitness is a state where mind and body are seen as one. It is a state where people, their families, and the organizations in which they serve are connected and thriving,” Mullen said in his article, “On Total Force Fitness in War and Peace.”

Throughout March we’ll be breaking down this radical new approach to “warrior health” and looking at the rationales for it and effects of it. Check back weekly for new posts on this fascinating subject.

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2 Responses to March Blog Topic: Total Force Fitness: Mind, Body and Spirit

  1. Victor says:

    I’ve been reading more articles on alternative healing and meditation for military personnel and I’ think it’s a perfect fit. I would think it very useful for PTSD for so many reasons. In the book 11 Karmic spaces by spiritual healer Ma Jaya there’s a section on compassion and pride that would be especially useful. Karma sometimes can bind us, by adopting meditation and karmic healing you can break free of what is keeping you from being grounded and your true self. I highly recommend it. Here is a link to her blog so you can read some pages of the book.

  2. Admiring the hard work you put into your website and in depth information you provide. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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