Mission Essential Fitness

Friday June 10, 2011

What is it?

Mission Essential Fitness uses circuit training with a variety of intense exercises to build the strength, power, speed and agility that Soldiers need to survive and succeed in today’s intense combat environment. The program, developed by Dr. Doug Briggs, Fort Bliss director of human performance, aims to turn Soldiers into “tactical athletes,” and provides training similar to what an NCAA Division 1 college football player would receive. The program relies on bodyweight training, and low-cost/no-cost makeshift weights and equipment, such as sandbags, ammo boxes, sledge hammers or logs, which deployed Soldiers can easily obtain.

What has the Army done?

The program was originally developed and refined at Fort Bliss, Texas, for 1st Armored Division Soldiers stationed there. Installation Management Command-Europe and the US Army Europe’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team are now testing the program at three European installations: Vicenza, Italy; and Schweinfurt and Bamberg, Germany.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Results of the pilot program will be briefed to U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) and IMCOM-Europe senior leaders for decisions about further implementation and possible expansion beyond the U.S. Army in Europe.

Why is this important to the Army?

Military leaders have always recognized that the effectiveness of Soldiers depends largely on their physical condition. Full-spectrum operations place a premium on the Soldier’s strength, stamina, agility, resiliency, and coordination. Victory—and even the Soldier’s life—so often depend upon these factors. (TC 3-22.20, Army Physical Readiness Training)

Resources:

Fort Bliss Functional Training site

Briefing on Mission Essential Fitness

IMCOM-Europe Public Affairs story on 173rd ABCT test of Mission Essential Fitness Programl

Mission Essential Fitness Circuit Layouts

Related STAND-TO!: New Army PT Tests: Army Physical Readiness Test, Army Combat Readiness Test

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