Chapter 4<br />Total Force Fitness<br />Throughout the Fleet Readiness Training Plan<br />“So in this total fitness, total health, how do you get at the integration of the spiritual, the mental, the social, the physical, etc,? What does it mean to us and what does it mean for families? It is a readiness issue because, if you are not successful in that, you are not ready to carry out your mission individually, as a unit, etc.”<br />Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM Mike Mullen, December 9, 2009<br /><ul><li> Purpose. Service members are the most valuable asset in the</li></ul>military for accomplishing the mission of defending our country. A balance between Mission, Family, and Sailor is critical to overall readiness. To attain this balance, it is insufficient to train only the uniformed force. NECC affirms its commitment to educate, inform, and train the family members who support, sustain, and motivate its Sailors as well. This chapter outlines two concepts critical to understanding how optimal family readiness is achieved – the Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP) and Total Force Fitness (TFF). The FRTP provides the framework to understand activity within a command from initial organization to post deployment and TFF provides 8 distinct perspectives to consider when addressing readiness of Sailors and their families. <br />2. Execution. Engaging families as a part of the command is a concept that requires thorough planning to ensure that their needs are addressed in every phase of a command’s life cycle. Outside of pre-deployment briefs, welcome home celebrations or a “Family Day” picnic most commands fail to develop the Military Family as an asset for their Sailors and command mission. By incorporating families into the four phase of the FRTP (maintenance, basic, integrated, sustainment) COs will develop families under their command umbrella as they would any other asset – through classes, training events, and vigilant maintenance.<br />3. Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP). The FRTP is the operational lifecycle of a command. The FRTP dictates the operational tempo of a command and what Sailors devote their talents and resources to during any specific period of time. The FRTP consists of a four phase operational cycle which includes Maintenance, Basic, Integrated, and Sustainment. Since commands gain and lose personnel throughout the calendar year, Sailors and families may join a command at any phase of the FRTP. For this reason the Command, Personal and Family Readiness Program must be robust and responsive enough to address the unique needs of individuals and families that may temporarily be out of sync with the readiness of the command.<br />4. Total Force Fitness (TFF). TFF is a model of eight human conditions which must be considered and addressed throughout the phases of the FRTP. No condition is more important than any other and most issues of family readiness will include aspects of more than one condition simultaneously. An effective CFRT will consider ways that each condition might impact family readiness when developing a plan for each FRTP phase. Throughout the entire FRTP Cycle Sailors and their families are faced with multiple challenges that could be “categorized” under one or many of the domains of the TFF model. The TFF model is a planning tool that CFRT’s may use to assist its development of a holistic, comprehensive, and effective approach to Family Readiness. <br />To support the mission of a command, the Department of Defense has developed a TFF model which applies to service members. NECC has modified the model to apply to family members. The key to Total Fitness is to provide Sailors, families, and CFRT’s with knowledge, skills and tools from which health, resilience and optimal performance can emerge:<br /> <br /> a. Physical Fitness. Physical Fitness is the ability to physically accomplish all aspects of day-to-day requirements while remaining healthy and uninjured. Physical fitness can be split into four components: endurance, mobility, strength, and flexibility. <br />Examples: developing a healthy lifestyle with a hectic schedule<br /> b. Environmental Fitness: Environmental Fitness is the awareness of and ability to adapt and in any environment, and withstand the multiple stressors of a military lifestyle.<br />Examples: change of duty station and geographic location, cost of living. <br /> c. Medical Fitness. Medical Fitness is a condition of mental and physical well-being as determined by medical standards.<br />Example: Exceptional family member support<br /> d. Spiritual Fitness. All individuals are spiritual beings. Spiritual fitness refers to the ability of individuals to connect and the command’s ability to address the variety of needs within a diverse community. <br />Example: Family access to spiritual programs <br /> e. Nutritional Fitness. Nutritional Fitness refers to the provision and consumption of food in quantities, quality, and proportions to enable daily performance and to protect against disease or injury.<br />Example: Establishing and maintaining healthy eating pattern<br /> f. Psychological Fitness. Psychological fitness is the integration and optimization of mental, emotional, and behavioral abilities and capacities to optimize performance and strengthen the resilience of Sailors and families.<br />Example: Operational Stress Continuum Training.<br /> g. Behavioral Fitness. Behavioral health refers to the relationship between an individual’s behavior and their positive or negative health outcome. <br />Example: Children’s performance at school.<br /> h. Social Fitness. Social fitness is the establishment of stable, cohesive families that are integrated into the larger community. Social cohesion is a strength multiplier.<br />Example: Vibrant, active and collaborative FRG. <br />5. TFF throughout the FRTP. The CFRT shall meet quarterly to discuss the command FRTP and consider the eight components of TFF and consciously decide how to integrate Family Readiness at each phase; keep in mind that commands may have multiple elements within the command on various phases of the FRTP. In these instances, the CFRT will make every effort to insure all Sailors and their families are informed and supported appropriately. The following paragraphs explain the general actions of a command during each FRTP phase and the offers a description of considerations for a CFRT: <br /> FRTP Maintenance Phase. During the Maintenance Phase the command (or detachment) refits from a previous deployment; organizes and identifies gaps in critical skill that are required before the command is completely operationally ready. Commanding officers should use the Maintenance Phase to assess the CRFT’s readiness to support families and arrange training for new members and the CFRT as a whole. Available resources are listed in Chapter 8. Some examples to consider in the integration of TFF into the Maintenance phase of FRTP:<br /><ul><li>Recruitment and Orientation training of Ombudsman and FRGL if one is not already appointed
Develop plan for periodic spouse/family orientation
COMPASS (refer families to FFSC)</li></ul>Selection Criteria and Planning Considerations for CFRT: <br /> (1) Family Readiness Officer (FRO). In addition to appointment criteria listed in Chapter Three, the FRO must be willing to communicate with family members and official volunteers. They must be comfortable with conveying the COs intent while being empathetic to the needs of families. The FRO will often be called upon to support family events after the duty day concludes, and they may be thrust into a family demographic different then their own. Some things to consider are:<br />Experience in the Command<br />Other Collateral Assignment<br />Communication Skills with Civilian Personnel/Family Members<br />Ability to empathize with Command Families and vet their concerns<br />Willingness to “step up” in times of crisis or distress<br /> (2) Command Ombudsman: The Command Ombudsman must be chosen with great care. They must be willing to meet the needs of command families and explain/support the operational requirements of the command mission. An Ombudsman must be willing to listen to families without casting judgment. Their conversations regarding requests for information should be thorough as to not miss the root of an issue. An Ombudsman should display a sense of “loyalty to the unit, the Commander, Sailors and their Families”. The Command Ombudsman must also be willing to express concerns or complaints from family members to the CO. The Ombudsman is the Commander’s Liaison and the families’ advocate. Some things to consider are:<br />Experience as a Navy/NECC Spouse/loved one<br />Understanding the mission requirements and impact on command families<br />Respect for all assigned personnel<br />Communication skills<br />Forward Leaning when caring for Command Families<br /> (3) Family Readiness Group Volunteers. Commands should foster a sense of unity by encouraging family members and spouses to be involved with command functions and support organizations. The FRG is a separate entity from the command, but offers a unique opportunity for understanding and support. COs do not appoint FRG leaders. COs should maintain oversight of FRG events and impact of the organization. Volunteers should be self-motivated, accepting of all loved ones, and willing to work together with command families. The CO is encouraged to discuss goals and mission statements with FRG Leaders or Board Members – as to promote a unified effort/understanding of Family Support. <br /> (4) Command Resource Center (CRC). A Command Resource Center will support both the CFRT and families within the command. Establish a CRC to centralize information and resource material distribution. Update the information as often as possible and encourage Sailors and families to submit information about resources they use. <br />FRTP Basic Phase: During the Basic Phase commands emphasize development and mastery of individual skills required to complete a mission. Unit self sufficiency and preparedness to integrate into a more, complex, challenging organization are key objectives. Focus shifts from CFRT organization to outreach to Sailors and families in the Basic Phase. CFRTs work to establish a network that is capable of offering support in any situation. The CFRTs are capable of developing the sense of community. CFRTs should take every effort to include family members in organized command sponsored events. CFRTs should utilize command Morale Welfare and Recreation committee, Family Readiness Group, Wardroom, Chiefs Mess, and First Class Petty Officer Association to encourage a partnership between command organizations and families. Some examples to consider in the integration of TFF into the basic phase of FRTP:<br /> Command Indoctrination – include the spouses <br /> Mentorship Programs (COMPASS and CORE)<br /> Families Overcoming Under Stress Workshop(FOCUS)<br /> Command sponsored social events<br /> Other additional information and resources <br />Planning Considerations for CFRT: <br /> (1) Invite family members to Command morale events. Include them in celebratory messages and ceremonies; educate family members on the Navy Core Values. Encourage Sailors to talk about WHY they have chosen to take an Expeditionary path. It is much easier to respect a decision if you can understand the motivation behind it. <br />Utilize MWR, FRG, Wardroom and Chiefs Mess to encourage a partnership between Command organizations. Suggested events: <br /><ul><li>MWR Events (burger burn, ultimate football, etc.)
Awards Ceremonies</li></ul> (2) Mission Awareness. It is important to clearly communicate the mission requirements and risks associated with the Command mission. A family who is prepared mentally for extended absences due to training or deployment can better prepare for the resulting stress. Knowledge can relieve some of this stress and anxiety. Commands should explain training requirements, Operational Tempo (OPTEMPO), living conditions, food and facilities available during deployment (OPSEC permitting). Families should also be made aware of normal communication conditions during operations and following critical incidents. Means of communication and availability should be shared with families to avoid high expectations being met with low capabilities. <br /><ul><li> FRTP Integrated Phase: The command prepares for operational tasking by developing advanced skills and exercising at operations/integration with other units. Pace and intensity of training increases to challenge Sailors realistically. CFRT should focus on using the network established during the Basic Phase to ensure its reliability. Command leadership should acknowledge the stress that families face as training demands increase. Addressing issues via CFRT during this phase ensures a better capacity to handle matters properly during deployment. Commands should provide tools for Sailors and their families to combat stress and the negative impact of high optempo.
Operational Readiness Testing </li></ul>Planning Considerations for CFRT Family “Fast Cruise”: <br /> <br /> (1) If a ship has been in port for an extended period, the commanding officer may practice the underway routine while the ship is still moored to the pier to ensure all hands know their roles. This event is referred to as a ‘Fast Cruise’. The Intermediate Phase is a perfect time for the CFRTs to make a dry run or ‘fast cruise’ for deployment. While the unit is away on exercises or training, the Ombudsman can circulate information to the family, test the flow of communication, and ensure the necessary resources for support are in place. This is also a good time to offer the Family Pre-deployment informational brief because it provides a long lead time for families to address issues rather than waiting until a few weeks before deployment. <br />Test your network. It is far better to find faults in communication, support, or engagement during this stage than in the middle of a real deployment while the unit is engaged in combat operations. Test your Family Readiness communications, network, and see what works and what does not. Identify your strong members and who might need some additional support during the deployment. See appendix (x) for a checklist of suggested items to accomplish during this phase. <br />Command leadership should acknowledge the stress that Sailors and families face when deploying and its impact. Commands should provide tools for Sailors and their families to combat stress and the negative impact of deployments/high optempo. The readiness of a Sailor is impacted by the readiness of their family. <br /> <br /> (2) Integrated Training Events. Offer Spouse/Family Orientation Quarterly - regardless of expected participation levels. The CFRT should communicate the basic mission requirements and risks associated with the mission (OPSEC permitting) during pre-deployment events and welcome briefs. Sailors shall be encouraged to communicate clearly with their spouses/family regarding risks and associated dangers related to their mission/tasking. <br /> (3) The Reality of Risk. It may be difficult for a Sailor to answer their family’s questions regarding the risks associated with their service. The CFRT should foster a climate of support and understanding where Sailors are provided training on how best to communicate with their spouses. Commands should pursue facilitated training for its Sailors and their families to afford a structured approach for Family Member education.<br />Family Care Plan. Tragically, there have been instances of a Sailor losing their civilian spouse during deployment. The death of the primary care giver to military children while the service member is deployed or out of the area can lead to additional hardships for surviving children/dependants. The CPFRP Family Care Plan is for all Sailors and should be aggressively marketed. The Family Care Plan and its components are beneficial to all Sailors and should not be limited to those with children. The purpose of this document is to provide a childcare plan should something happen to the Sailors civilian spouse during deployment or geographic separation from the family. <br />Sustainment Phase: Commands or detachments will normally deploy during the Sustainment Phase. Regardless of deployment status, the Sustainment Phase is the longest and most challenging phase of the FRTP. Commands must maintain readiness throughout in order to respond to operational tasking. If a command deploys during this phase the CFRT is divided and most rely on the communication paths and relationships built during previous phases. Focus should be on emotional preparation for the transition from home to deployment, deployment, and return. Some examples to consider in the integration of TFF into the Sustainment phase of FRTP:<br />Establishes the family routine<br />Last minute family issue and maintenance<br /><ul><li>Mid-Deployment Morale Event
Families Overcoming Under Stress Workshop (FOCUS)
Family Resiliency Training </li></ul>Operational Stress Control<br />Identifies the unique aspects of the post deployment period establishing the “new normal” <br />Planning Considerations for CFRT: <br /> <br /> (1) Our families should be in a similar state of readiness. It should come as no surprise to any family member if the unit is called to deploy early. All wills, powers of attorney, and pay issues should be addressed and support people clearly identified. The Sailor and their family should be prepared for an expeditionary deployment at any given time. The goal is not just to have the families prepared with documents but they should also be emotionally, psychologically and spiritually prepared. <br /> (2) The Sustainment Phase does not end when the deployment does, but only after the unit officially enters into the Maintenance Phase and begins the cycle all over again. While it is not likely, some units have returned from deployment only to be tagged to redeploy (USS BATAAN – Haiti 2011) or redirect to another mission because of their state of readiness. This is an uncommon reality of the expeditionary service. <br />This phase focuses the FRTP on emotionally preparing Sailor’s and families for the transition through the deployment cycle (pre-deployment, departure, deployment, and reintegration). <br />6. Goal of an integrated FRTP/CPFRP. Ultimately, the goal is to get the CFRTs to see the issues related to Family Readiness as part of their Common Operating Picture. We want operators committed to Family Readiness by being aware of the need to support family readiness events, appointing the right people to the right positions, providing families the right information at the right time during the FRTP, and ensuring that there is a mechanism to assess how well the command supports its families and improves those deliverables. The end vision: Family Readiness integrated into Command Readiness. A ready command includes a ready family.<br />