Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

TFF: A holistic approach to health and performance

Silhouette of man climbing a hill Air Force Senior Airman Erick Requadt climbs a dirt incline during the 2019 Moody Mud Run in Ray City, Ga. For service members to meet and excel in their performance, it’s important for them to pay attention to all eight life domains, including physical fitness. (Photo by Air Force Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver.)

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness

What does it take to reach and sustain an optimal level of military fitness, health, and performance?

As with any journey, a roadmap can point out the best path. Total Force Fitness provides the military community with that roadmap to reach their peak performance.

Introduced to the Department of Defense in 2009, Total Force Fitness is a framework that helps warfighters, their family members, and military units reach and sustain optimal, holistic health and performance in a way that aligns with their mission, culture, and identity. By taking a holistic approach to improving warfighter performance, Total Force Fitness also serves as the Military Health System’s connection to first line of effort in the current National Defense Strategy – building a more lethal force.

“The DOD is increasingly recognizing that people represent our greatest asset, and the human weapon system is the priority investment to ensure readiness, said retired Army Col. (Dr.) Francis O’Connor, professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University and the medical director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance. “Total Force Fitness is the framework that links the vision with practical implementation.”

Total Force Fitness suggests you reconsider what it means to be healthy beyond just physical fitness by focusing on your whole self and those life domains that are key to holistic military wellness. Your total fitness includes eight domains: social, physical, environmental, medical and dental preventive care, ideological and spiritual, nutritional, psychological, and financial health.

In any given situation, you may draw on each Total Force Fitness domain to perform well. For example, if you’re getting ready to take your physical fitness and physical readiness tests, the emphasis is on your muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. However, many other things — such as the quality of your sleep, what you’re eating, and reactions to any supplements you might be taking—can impact your performance. Your mental focus, environment, and support system of training partners play a role too.

“Total Force Fitness has become a priority across the DOD because leaders understand the importance of looking at our people as the greatest asset,” said Dr. Patricia Deuster, professor at the Uniformed Services University and executive director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP). “That means taking care of them in every domain of TFF – from nutritional and physical fitness to social and spiritual fitness – as they service and sacrifice for our country.”   

Total Force Fitness gets away from a one-size-fits-all model for health and performance. It allows your identity, culture, and mission to shape your quest for total fitness. Everyone’s mission demands, occupational risks, culture, and mission-essential skills are different, so their approaches to sustaining health and performance need to be different.

"For service members to meet and excel in their performance, it’s important for them to pay attention to all eight life domains. Understanding the intersection of the Total Force Fitness domains is crucial to optimizing performance and readiness,” said O’Connor. “For example, it’s possible to assist in the management of depression by leveraging your social relationships, changing your diet, and getting more exercise. In addition, your mental health can boost your cardiovascular health and physical fitness—mental imagery can help.”

The Human Performance Resources by CHAMP (HPRC), at the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, is one great resource for TFF information. Its website is there to support your fitness needs, and even boasts an “Ask the Expert” feature if you don’t find answers to your question right away.

As a warfighter, participating in your own total fitness contributes to your readiness and helps achieve Total Force Fitness. You’ll know you’ve reached peak performance when you’re performing at your best and thriving in all aspects of your life. When you have great relationships with the people around you, and you feel happy and fulfilled.

And when you’re physically healthy and fit, you feel a sense of purpose in the things you do, and you’re able to bounce back and grow from the curve balls life throws at you.

You also may be interested in...

Total Force Fitness Physical

Infographic
7/21/2021
Total Force Fitness - Total Body Preventive Health and Physical Fitness - Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury

Total Force Fitness - Total Body Preventive Health and Physical Fitness - Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury

Recommended Content:

August Toolkit | Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

AJ-Maste Yoga: Tips for a Healthy Deployment

Article
7/13/2021
Military personnel doing a yoga pose

Yoga comes in many forms and fashions, and has proven health benefits.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

CHAMP uses more predictive analytics to improve beneficiary healthcare

Article
7/8/2021
A game of tug-of-war

Military health innovation and Total Force Fitness go hand-in-hand.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Innovation Month | Health Innovation – Pathways to Ready Reliable Care | Health Innovations across the MHS Enterprise | MHS Research Symposium

Turn Post-traumatic Stress Into Post-traumatic Growth

Article
6/30/2021
PTSD Infographic

Myths and facts about post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic growth (PTG).

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | PTSD Awareness Month | Total Force Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Aphasia, Caused by Stroke or TBI, is Frustrating and Little Known

Article
6/29/2021
A doctor looking at brain scans

Aphasia is an incurable disease usually caused by stroke that affects all forms of communication.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Heart Health | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury

TFF cogs Environmental 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month and Environmental Fitness

“Vision and Hearing and Environmental Fitness Ability to perform tasks in any environment"

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Total Force Fitness Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

TFF cogs Physical 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month and Physical Fitness

“Vision and Hearing and Physical Fitness. Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury.”

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Total Force Fitness Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Ten ways parents can help kids make good nutritional choices

Article
4/27/2021
Image of a colorful plate outlining the portions and serving sizes of each type of food.

Nutrition is a key element of Total Force Fitness, but it’s just as important to encourage kids to make smart nutritional choices.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | Nutritional Fitness

Total Force Fitness COGS Psychological

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness social media graphic showing the multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, an orange Psychological Fitness shuttlecock.

Total Force Fitness Mental Health and Psychological Fitness Ability to integrate and improve cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capabilities to optimize performance and ensure mission readiness

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Psychological Fitness

Total Force Fitness Circle Logo

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness logo showing the eight domains swirling in a circle

"Total Force Fitness”

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Mental Health and Total Force Fitness

Total Force Fitness COGS Environmental

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness social media graphic showing the multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, a green Environmental Fitness shuttlecock.

“Total Force Fitness Mental Health and Environmental Fitness Ability to perform tasks in any environment”

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Mental Health and Total Force Fitness

Do sports / energy drinks enhance individual performance?

Article
4/12/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing food options

While there are many energy sports drinks are available, their overall value varies.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Occupational Therapy Month highlights pros who give everyday help

Article
4/6/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask attending occupational therapy

April is Occupational Therapy Month, a chance to highlight a profession that helps people to accomplish the everyday tasks they need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Physical Fitness | April

The difference between Celiac Disease & Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Article
3/26/2021
Close up picture of slices of bread

Celiac disease is not a food allergy; it's an autoimmune disease diagnosed through a blood test.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

When we “Break Bread," we build social bonds

Article
3/25/2021
Picture of military personnel sitting at a table eating food together

Eating socially has been shown to influence happiness and life satisfaction; specifically participating in evening meals with more people.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.