Sgt. Tara Fajardo Arteaga, 113th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland - The U.S. Army’s implementation of Holistic Health and Fitness, or H2F, has made significant progress as the Army’s primary investment in Soldier readiness and lethality.
“Our mission is to provide education and one-on-one appointments to the Soldiers of 1st Brigade in the tenets of physical readiness, mental readiness, and sleep readiness,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Emily Eberlein, a registered dietitian. “The goal of H2F is truly to improve Soldier readiness and lethality and we are trying to be proactive on preventing injuries, sleep deprivation and Army body composition program enrollment.”
H2F is a first-of-its-kind, Army enterprise human performance system designed to optimize Soldier readiness with physical and non-physical performance training across five H2F readiness domains: physical, mental, sleep, spiritual, and nutrition. In order to conduct training in these domains, the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, currently stationed in Poland, has assigned to their H2F team a dietitian, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist. This team rotates around to the various forward operating stations where Soldiers assigned to the 1ABCT are stationed to conduct H2F training.
“We’ve been to every FOS where 1st Brigade is at, in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania,” said Eberlein.
Eberlein got her undergraduate degree as a civilian and when she was looking for an internship, she found a specialized program provided by the U.S. Army that also provided a master’s degree program.
“I direct commissioned into the Army, completed the basic officer leader course, then did my master’s degree in 9 months,” said Eberlein. “I then did a year-long internship program on top of that, took my exams, became a registered dietician, and was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas.”
Eberlein became the chief of the nutrition care division at the Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas., which is a community hospital that serves Soldiers, dependents, and retirees. She was then assigned to the H2F program and deployed with the 1st ABCT to Poland where she has enjoyed teaching Soldiers how to stay healthy.
“I love working for Soldiers. I love providing nutrition education to people who don’t know about nutrition. There is so much out there about fad diets, so if I can intervene and dispel myths, that’s great,” said Eberlein. “This is what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a dietician for Soldiers. Providing education on performance nutrition, fueling for exercise, fueling for operations.”
There are many ways for Soldiers to take initiative and improve their nutritional readiness on their own, but before they can start improving their individual nutritional readiness, they must step back and evaluate where they are currently in their nutrition journey. This is where Eberlein and the H2F program come in to help.
“I love educating people on nutrition, helping them, seeing them reach their goals, and having them realize that it was easier than they expected,” said Eberlein, “I love doing that.”