1. Lead from the front
Soldiers are always watching their leaders and leaders should exemplify readiness and the tenets of P3. Being knowledgeable is good, but believing and striving to reach the P3 targets will support your ability to be the best example that the Soldiers desire to be like their leadership. A leader that lives P3 and exudes passion about it will naturally lead other Soldiers to higher performance. You don’t have to be perfect, but being dedicated to constantly improving your performance as a Soldier goes a long way to set the right example. The P3 helps keep units on an azimuth towards personal readiness and Soldier optimization to achieve squad overmatch!
2. Think outside the box
Is there a better way? Is there a better way to leverage existing resources and support elements? What assumptions should be challenged? For example, hosting a Farmer’s Market on your installation improves food options and fruits/vegetable consumption. Hosting cooking demonstration or classes can help young families learn how to eat healthy on a budget. Science tells us that Soldiers’ need more sleep to optimize performance. So, why is Army PRT always in the morning? Well, there’s nothing in the regulation that mandates “ZeroDarkThirty” workouts. Don’t be stuck in the status quo. Fort Carson innovated and moved their PRT times to 1600.
3. Track and measure
Do you have ways to determine if certain initiatives improve readiness and health? The Medical Readiness Assessment Tool (MRAT) can help identify Soldiers who are at high-risk for medical non-availability. The MRAT supports command teams by identifying and synchronizing actionable items to help coach, teach, and mentor Soldiers to readiness, holistic health and Fitness. The right metrics support leaders to have a better view of the overall readiness and mitigate risk. The experts in your team help you connect solutions to minimize risk and improve the personal health readiness of your command. The Command Ready and Resilient Councils (CR2C) run by the Senior Mission Commander, can help connect your community and installation resources through the Community Resource Guides for your installation to support your Soldiers and their Families.
4. Maximize your ACFT for performance
Have you seen the new Army Combat Fitness Test webpage? It has links to the Army Combat Fitness Test Initial Operation Capability, Army Combat Fitness Test FY20 Standards along with videos. FM 7-22, Army Physical Readiness Training has strength training progressions, functional movement drills, mobility and agility skills, and reconditioning concepts. Does your Brigade or Battalion have a formal reconditioning program? Enforcing PRT and proper reconditioning at the unit level can help you get your Soldiers fit and back quicker when they are injured. Preventing re-injury with a formal reconditioning program is scientifically proven and FM 7-22 includes reconditioning standards for Soldiers coming off profiles or injuries. Incorporate the Pregnancy and Post-Partum Physical Training Program to maximize your Soldiers’ readiness. Maximize your MFTs – they can help recondition Soldiers. Have MRTs and MFTs meet quarterly to share best practices and leverage your Brigade medical assets to track injuries, profiles, and apply risk mitigation strategies to preserve your unit’s combat power. Refer Soldiers to the Army Wellness Center to improve physical fitness by targeting the physical fitness and performance of Soldiers.
5. Healthier installation, healthier unit
Is your installation supporting healthy and ready Soldiers and Families? Did you know that there are tools to assess the quality of nutrition and the health environment at your installation? Your unit has a big stake on the health of the community. Engage your team and use your voice to engage your installation’s Commander's Ready and Resilient Council (CR2C) to engage to ensure your post provides Soldiers and Families with a healthy nutrition environment. The creating active communities and healthy environments includes tools such as the m-NEAT (nutrition environment), tobacco free living, and promoting active communities and provides valuable information to optimize personal readiness in your community. Initiatives such as Healthy Army Communities . Through Healthy Army Communities, Army Leaders and Community partners encourage health and wellness by shaping things like policy, education, and physical surrounding. Support Soldiers choosing healthy food choices in the Dining Facilities with Go for Green (G4G). Go for Green is a joint-service performance-nutrition initiative that improves the food environment where Military Service Members live and work. G4G prompts better food and beverages selections with the aim to optimize performance, readiness and health.
6. Have a P3 town hall
Town Halls can facilitate understanding barriers, discussing policies and processes, and what is important to change from a Soldier and Family perspective regarding readiness and resilience. A P3 Town Hall can help drive the ways leadership is promoting readiness and resilience and for example, reinforce that optimal sleep and living environments help your Soldiers get the rest they need to perform their best. Remember, sleep is ammunition for the brain! You can also set barracks policy for lights off at 2200, enforced quiet times, and ensuring barracks are quiet, cool and dark. These simple steps can help Soldiers increase sleep time for optimal performance. Town Halls provide a forum for unit leaders to demonstrate commitment to the Profession of Arms and the tenets of the P3.
7. Execute a unit level Warrior Challenge
Capitalize on the Army’s, and a Soldier’s love of competition. Having a unit wide challenge builds esprit-de-corps and moves your Soldiers toward better readiness. The P3 Warrior Challenges provide 26 challenges that can be adapted and executed for unit competition. The Warrior Challenges also provide ideas for scoring and ways to involve the Total Army Family! The FT Campbell Eagle Fitness Challenge Tour is a great example and integrates Warrior Challenges, the Total Army Family, and the entire Fort Campbell and surrounding community. Other ideas include unit recognition with a P3 streamer for the unit’s guidon, or time-off awards to incentivize personal readiness and the Warrior Ethos. Creative challenges can also improve Soldier motivation. How about a competition that encourages Soldiers to submit videos about their dedication to being a Tactical Athlete that values sleep, activity, and nutrition?
Leadership makes a difference in healthy options in the DFAC! Rethinking the DFAC can also help improve food choices for your unit. A FT Campbell DFAC used choice architecture, behavioral economics, and food labeling, and improved sales of fruits and vegetables by 24.6% and decreased dessert sales by 16.3% just by relocating these items! These improvements in health did not cost the organization any money! They also limited sugar-sweetened beverages which resulted in 600 lbs. less sugar consumed—or about 1 million less calories in a 6 week period!
8. Integrate P3 science into mission planning
The Army excels at training in less than optimal conditions and Soldiers still perform with sleep deprivation, calorie deficits, and limited opportunities for activity. But, what if the Army takes the best sleep, activity and nutrition science and applies these concepts during training? Sleep is ammunition for the brain! Exciting research on sleep banking and sleep planning can be incorporated into your missions and sleep banking helps Soldiers prepare for sustained operations or longer training events like at the National Training Center or Joint Readiness Training Center. Applying these recommendations can conserve Soldiers’ cognitive energy and translate directly to safety awareness, tactical decision making, and even correct ‘shoot/no shoot’ snap judgments. Fuel for performance with the best sports nutrition science and incorporate the evidence of cross training in field environments.
9. Integrate and incentivize P3 to promote Personal Readiness
Look for ways to incorporate the science of P3 within existing events on the training calendar to optimize Soldier performance. For example, P3 instruction at PRT cool down or end-of-day unit formation. Do you have an upcoming holiday? Fatigue related accidents are serious business, and including P3 information can help with emphasis on the appropriate need for sleep and fatigue management. Incorporating P3 concepts in leader professional development forums is useful and you can also reinforce your mandatory Safety Briefing with P3 strategic messaging!
Providing incentives can maximize individual participation and increase motivation! Contests for the best P3 YouTube video or cadence call could increase buy-in and enhance personal readiness within a unit. Provide time-off awards for Soldiers that lead the way and are helping others optimize or improve their personal performance and readiness. One unit developed P3 “punch cards” to recognize personal completion of P3 related events and rewarded 3 or 4 day passes.
10. Command messaging
Leverage unit Facebook and Twitter accounts through the standard messaging provided to your PAO to promote performance and to reach Soldiers and Family members. This is one of the easiest ways to get the message out. You can also tailor unit specific information and share your unit Facebook and Twitter sites to motivate your unit and the FRGs!
Other ideas include working with local MWR, USO, or other installation resources to bring motivational speakers to your unit—such as collegiate or professional athletes, chefs, or celebrities. These speakers can help motivate your Soldiers and their Families to optimize their health readiness and performance.
There’s even an app for the P3! While Soldiers may not have ready access to a computer at work, nearly every Soldier has a smartphone. Encourage your Soldiers to download the free P3 App and reference the
Download Center on this website and technology section of the P3 Soldiers Guide for other apps that can help optimize performance!