By Ms. Catherine Caruso (IMCOM)April 12, 2016
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Congratulations, Presidio of Monterey - you ranked #1 among all Army installations in a service-wide survey of health and fitness-related behaviors.
The Performance Triad, or "P3" -- sleep, activity and nutrition -- is part of the Army's effort to use the latest sports science to improve Soldier performance in tactical environments.
The Army's 2015 Health of the Force report found Presidio of Monterey service members ranked first among Army installations in behaviors associated with the "Performance Triad." Local service members ranked first in activity (84.6 of 100 points), first in nutrition (74.6 of 100), and second (71.3 of 100) in sleep behavior.
Presidio of Monterey personnel are part of a pilot project to integrate support for healthy behaviors into every part of their mission.
Master trainers taught "P3 Champions" to advise commanders to look for opportunities to encourage physical activity, healthy eating, and adequate rest and recovery in their units.
"It turned out we were already doing some of the things recommended, like the (Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center)'s afternoon PT policy," Amanda Braasch, DLIFLC and PoM Health Promotion Officer said.
Unit physical training in most DLIFLC student companies is performed in the afternoon. The pattern encourages students to both get moving after a long day in the classroom, and to fall asleep earlier -- which helps with learning retention, she said.
"Our goal is to train military linguists, and this directly supports our mission," Braasch said.
One area where Presidio of Monterey service members scored exceptionally well was sleep behaviors. The 2015 Health of the Force report also reported an unusually high rate of diagnosed sleep disorders at the garrison.
"We don't know if it's related, but it could be," Lt. Calvin Schoonover, P3 action officer for the California Medical Detachment (CALMED), said, since accurate detection and diagnosis of sleep disorders typically leads to better sleep quality for those affected.
As part of the P3 pilot, "our providers now ask 'are you getting enough sleep?' 'Are you eating properly, are you getting the recommended 6-8 servings of vegetables each day.'" he said. "Now, we're taking a closer look at the data, to see if we can determine an impact on behavior, and if we can measure that, is it having an impact on test scores."
Sleep, activity and nutrition are also areas where service member knowledge and behavior can impact physical readiness in the field, Braasch said.
Poor behaviors in these areas are associated with some of the military's top readiness issues: first-term attrition, obesity, musculoskeletal injuries, fatigue, and medical non-deployable status, according to the report.
More than 78,000 active duty Soldiers have a BMI of 30 or above. In all, 36% of active duty Soldiers don't complete their first term of enlistment, with many of those separated for weight control or chronic medical issues.
While Presidio of Monterey personnel scored well compared to other Army installations, there's room for improvement. No garrison has yet meet the Army's target of a score of 85 or more in every area.
Army-wide, just 15% of military personnel met the P3 target for sleep, 38% for activity, and 13% for nutrition.
* Coming up - Community Strength and Teams Assessment
The Presidio of Monterey's 2016 Community Strength and Teams Assessment is scheduled to begin in April. This annual assessment is part of an Army-wide effort to improve resiliency by taking a holistic look at health and welfare issues in the force.
"We want to know what are our top health needs, top concerns, and what services people use most often," Braasch said.
For the first time, the survey will be open to representatives from all branches of service at Presidio of Monterey - including service members, adult family members, and community members interested in the health and readiness issues in the military community.
Detailed information and a link to the survey will be shared via official and student email, and by DLIFLC and garrision social media presences, later this month.
* Also - "Healthy Vending" machines are coming to PoM
A partnership between the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey Health Promotion office will soon bring healthier options to specially-marked vending machines at locations across Presidio of Monterey.
The "Healthy Vending" machines will offer food and beverage options.
One-quarter of the selections in each machine will be "fit picks," containing less than 35% fat, 10% saturated fat, and 5% sugar.
The rest will have less than 230 mg of sodium and less than 200 calories per serving, Braasch said.