Future Readiness and the System for Health: A Way Forward

  • Colonel Andrew M. Barr

The health of the force is among the most important indicators of Army readiness and is critical to both the present and future readiness of the force. The Army defines individual medical readiness (IMR) as the ability to achieve medical fitness standards within 72 hours of deployment. Future health readiness focuses on Soldier wellness, maximization of holistic health, and prevention of chronic disease and injury. Improvements in future health readiness should increase rates of IMR, improve the health of the force, and decrease DoD and Army healthcare costs. Army doctrine, systems, and programs such as the System for Health, the Performance Triad, and the Army Wellness Centers provide a strong framework for Army health promotion. Improvements in Army doctrine, systems, programs, and policies as well as further alignment with wellness industry best practices will increase future health readiness in the Army and provide cost savings to the Military Health System.