Military Emphasizes Physical and Mental Fitness

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Oct 26, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

The U.S. Army is implementing an emotional resiliency training program for its soldiers to ensure that their mental and emotional health receive as much attention as their physical health. Under the leadership of Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, PhD, MD, director of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, all 1.1 million soldiers, including active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members, will receive the training. The purpose is to improve combat performance and deter mental-health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicide, according to The New York Times (August 17, 2009).

Comprehensive soldier fitness is about increasing the resiliency of soldiers by developing all dimensions of a soldier, including the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and family elements, Cornum told the Army News Service in March 2009. She explained further, “The best way to treat a death by heart attack is not CPR. The best way is to prevent the heart attack. It’s a lifestyle and culture change. And that’s how we should look at mental health. Look at it with a preventative model and enhanced health model, not a ‘waiting-until-we-need- therapy model.’”

To learn more about the program, go to

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at