DVIDS – News – Jersey Guard dives into holistic health and fitness

By Sergeant. 1st Class Wayne Woolley

FORT DRUM, NY – Sgt. Kemoh Smith has stood up thousands of times.

Yet recently, while 1st Lt. Nicholas Pugliano was coaching him on how to stand with his hips and rib cage aligned to minimize pressure on his spine, Smith struggled.

“Whew,” Smith said after getting up. “Not easy.”

“It will become easier,” assured him Pugliano, an infantryman turned physiotherapist.

The meeting between Smith, a New Jersey Army National Guard soldier, and Pugliano, who is assigned to the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade in the 10th Mountain Division, was made possible through the Holistic Health and Army Fitness (H2F).

The program, launched as a pilot project in 2018, aims to help soldiers become more physically and mentally resilient and runs the gamut from increasing flexibility to learning how to sleep better, eat better, and sleep better. adopt a spiritual belief system that will sustain them through difficult times. .

The session in which Smith met Pugliano took place on July 25, 2022 as members of the Jersey Guards 117th Sustainment Support Battalion became the first National Guard unit to receive training from the 10th CAB’s H2F team, which is led by Ben Smith, a former competitive weightlifter turned strength and conditioning coach.

The New Jersey Soldiers were at Fort Drum in support of the Exportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise for the New Jersey 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers completed a course on hip and spine mobility and a course on learning to maximize sleep.

For Capt. John Caemmerer of the New Jersey Army National Guard, the sleep part of training was perhaps the most important.

“The military recognizes that sleep deprivation affects us on a microbiological level and affects almost every aspect of a soldier’s physical condition,” said Jersey Guard H2F coordinator Caemmerer. “Ultimately, lack of sleep makes soldiers less effective in combat.”

The Army implemented H2F in response to the challenges of having a ready force. Among those challenges, according to statistics compiled by the Army, were the fact that more than half of active duty soldiers suffer a musculoskeletal injury each year and that more than a quarter of soldiers in the reserve component were considered clinically obese.

Caemmerer said the military understands the National Guard has unique challenges because most of its soldiers also lead civilian lives.

“Even state to state, the military understands there will be differences,” he said. “The goal is to create a program that works for our state.”

In a show of New Jersey’s support for H2F’s efforts, Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes, the Deputy Adjutant General, toured the 10th CAB H2F facility on July 27.

During the recent hip mobility course, Smith, the director of 10th CAB H2F, told guard soldiers the goal is to learn proper body movements and maintain correct alignments to prevent injuries. before they occur.

He used a weightlifting analogy to make his point.

“You might be able to do deadlifts for 10 years with a curved spine and you’ll be fine,” he said. “Until the day you don’t. And then you will have a serious problem.

After attending the hour-long mobility class, Smith, 46, the sergeant who practiced hip alignment while standing up from a chair, said he would use what he learned in class. At this point in his military career, he said the aches and pains of a physically demanding job as a wheeled vehicle mechanic coupled with the sedentary life of driving a truck in his civilian job must be resolved.

“I will try to put everything I learned today into practice,” he said.

1st Lt. Nicholas Pugliano, left, shows Sgt. Kemoh Smith proper hip and rib alignment during a hip mobility course for New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers at Fort Drum, NY on July 25, 2022. This was the first time that the 10th CAV was instructing National Guard soldiers on the program, which seeks to improve health and wellness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Wayne Woolley)

Ben Smith, the lead Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) instructor for the U.S. Army’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, conducts a hip mobility course for New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers at Fort Drum, NY, July 25, 2022. This was the first time the 10th CAV has asked National Guard Soldiers about the program, which aims to improve health and wellness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Wayne Woolley)

Date taken: 25.07.2022
Date posted: 29.07.2022 13:11
Story ID: 426116
Location: FORT DRUM, NY, USA

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