News

April 2021

Virtual health exercise at Madigan Army Medical Center. (U.S. Army photo)
1 April, 2021 Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center continues to develop technology that increases medical capabilities and provides rapid, flexible critical care expertise at the point of need.

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March 2021

Dr. Rafael Nunez, a pediatrician at the U.S. Army Health Center in Vicenza, Italy, speaks on the phone March 9, 2021, with a parent about their child's diagnosis. Virtual appointments have been routine during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. ARMY HEALTH CENTER VICENZA
18 March, 2021 From rashes to complex ailments, more military patients are being treated through telemedicine

The U.S. military has seen a surge in the use of virtual medical care, as patients avoid doctor’s offices and health care workers work to minimize their exposure to the coronavirus.

The Defense Health Agency long planned to expand its use of telemedicine, which could include everything from a nurse displaying an X-ray of a soldier’s broken foot and discussing rehabilitation, to doctors in different countries diagnosing cancer.

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January 2021

Army Maj. (Dr.) Douglas Ruhl, a surgeon at Madigan Army Medical Center, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, uses the COVID-19 airway management isolation chamber (CAMIC) to perform a mastoidectomy, which removes a growth behind the eardrum. This procedure requires drilling into the skull, creating bone dust and aerosolized droplets. (Photo courtesy of Douglas Ruhl.)
5 January, 2021 MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Operational medicine performed by deployed military medical personnel has always driven innovation, and this was more important than ever in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lifeline unmanned vehicle. RE2 Robotics photo
4 January, 2021 Army Seeks Robots to Transport Wounded Troops

The Army is examining ways to use autonomous vehicles to bring injured soldiers off the battlefield.

In September, Pennsylvania-based company RE2 Robotics received $1.1 million in Small Business Innovation Research funding from the Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center to work on a dexterous two-arm system called the Autonomous Casualty Extraction, or ACE.

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Mike Lavers, sleep technician, and Sgt. 1st Class Annabelyn Verdeflor, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Pulmonary Clinic, look over the components of a home healthcare kit as part of the COVID-19 Remote Monitoring Program, a joint effort of the Virtual Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Elaine Sanchez, Brooke Army Medical Center.)
4 January, 2021 Remote monitoring program enables COVID-19 patients to recover at home

Kathlyn Chassey was shocked when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 after experiencing a low-grade fever and a bad headache.

A former lung transplant recipient, Chassey had been staying close to home for months to avoid the respiratory risks associated with the virus. She figured she had an infection or the flu when she arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center’s Emergency Department at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas.

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December 2020

Mr. Sunday Bitrus, Senior Technical Advisor, TATRC
31 December, 2020 TATRC Welcomes Much Needed Senior IT Advisor

TATRC is pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. Sunday Bitrus, who has joined the TATRC team as a new Senior Technical Advisor. In this role, he will support lab leaders in planning, conducting and overseeing research, provision of technical assistance, and perform program project reviews.

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Mr. Matt Quinn, Science Director TATRC
31 December, 2020 Science Director’s Corner: Maintaining Research While Delivering In the Real World

Many things changed when COVID-19 hit and the lockdowns began in March 2020. The majority of us began working from home, which meant living much of our lives on Teams, Zoom calls, and other virtual meeting platforms.

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NETCCN Logo
31 December, 2020 NETCCN Quarterly Update: Live TeleCritical Care Support

The National Tele-critical Care Network (NETCCN) project is one of TATRC’s primary initiatives in response to COVID-19. As previously reported in the TATRC Times, this project was established as a novel means to provide remote, expert care to locations that were overwhelmed providing COVID care.

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TATRC Group photo 2019
31 December, 2020 TATRC’s Director Spreads Some Cheer at the Holiday Town Hall

Normally the month of December finds the TATRC team celebrating the festivities of the season, munching on cookies, and “making spirits bright” in person. While the COVID pandemic didn’t allow us to gather for our annual Holiday bash the “normal” way, we didn’t allow it to steal our joy.

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Photo By Jennifer Donnelly | Maj. (P) Steven S. Hong, M.D. currently serves as the Chief of Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and an assistant professor of surgery at Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences. Hong was recently selected as the 2020 recipient of the AMSUS 2020’s Top Military Physician Award for his efforts in the invention of the Covid-19 Airway Management Isolation Chamber (CAMIC). (U.S. Army photo)
10 December, 2020 Army Surgeon, Scientist, and Researcher, Recognized as AMSUS 2020’s Top Military Physician Award

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (Dec. 10, 2020) – Maj. Steven S. Hong, M.D. was awarded the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) Individual Professional Physician Award at the Virtual AMSUS Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, held Dec. 6-10.

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Illustration of a patient in an ICU bed.
1 December, 2020 DOD’s ‘virtual hospital’ features remote-controlled IVs, ventilators

To better prepare for a COVID-19 surge, the Army’s Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) in April issued a call for a National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network, a set of cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management systems. NETCCN was designed to support the creation and coordination of virtual critical care wards that would allow health professionals to deliver high-quality critical care to bedsides of COVID-19 patients in field hospitals, small rural health care facilities and even gymnasiums.

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September 2020

COL Jeremy C. Pamplin, Director TATRC
30 September, 2020 A Message from the Director

2020 – What a year it has been!

To put it lightly, 2020 was a year of great change. Unexpected challenges, stress, and uncertainties crept into every aspect of our lives, disrupting and reshaping how we behave and interact as a society.

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BG Talley assisted by a remote expert (Intensive Care Unit specialist), was able to assess, and manage a ventilated patient with a tension pneumothorax, in a simulated COVID-19 field treatment area.
30 September, 2020 TATRC Talks Tech with Talley

The TATRC Team had the opportunity to host MRDC’s Commanding General, BG Michael Talley this past July. BG Talley has started the tradition of “quarterly pop in visits” and continues making his way around the command, meeting staff and gaining insightful updates about all of the different research endeavors that each of his units are working on.

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The MEDHUB Operational Overview. Graphic courtesy of our partners at USAMMDA.
30 September, 2020 A 'Convergence' of Humans, Data and Machines for Warfighter Performance and Combat Casualty Care

Everyone is hearing a lot about “Project Convergence” these days, but what does it actually mean? According to the Army Futures Command website, “Project Convergence is a campaign of learning to aggressively pursue an artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled battlefield management system.

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NETCCN Logo
30 September, 2020 Next Up With NETCCN?

As described in last quarter’s TATRC Times Newsletter, TATRC’s National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network project began in March, with a challenge from MRDC’s Commander: “What can TATRC do to address the COVID pandemic?”

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Service Team 6's efforts have been invaluable to TATRC during the fight against COVID-19.
30 September, 2020 Appreciation & Accolades for our Acquisition A-Team

TATRC was honored to host Ms. Thea Hofgesang, Director of the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) and members of USAMRAA’s Service Team 6, who are assigned to execute the contracting needs of TATRC, to present them with accolades and awards for their recent acquisition support.

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July 2020

To help address surges in ICU cases, the Medical University of South Carolina team will leverage networking technologies to connect medical devices and smartphone applications to the electronic health record. Credit: Emma Vought, Medical University of South Carolina
10 July, 2020 Building surge ICU capacity during COVID-19

To prepare for current and future waves of COVID-19, the U.S. Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center asked teams from across the country to compete to build a telehealth prototype that would provide adequate ICU capacity when cases surge. Of the 78 teams that competed, only nine were invited to complete a series of tasks designed to establish the feasibility of their prototypes.

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June 2020

COL Jeremy C. Pamplin, Director TATRC
30 June, 2020 Message from the TATRC Director

I hope this message finds each of you and your loved ones safe and healthy. We remain at war with an invisible foe that has caused more death of our fellow citizens than the past nearly 20 years of conflict, more than Vietnam and the Korean War combined.

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Screenshot of Summer 2020 issue of Combat & Casualty Care Magazine
30 June, 2020 TATRC Director Featured in Combat & Casualty Care Magazine for Efforts to Fight COVID

The USAMRDC and several of its affiliate labs were prominently featured in the Summer 2020 issue of Combat & Casualty Care Magazine.

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Mr. Matt Quinn, Science Director TATRC
30 June, 2020 From the Desk of the Science Director… Beating COVID Requires Radical Inclusion

Since joining TATRC in March, I have been immersed, mostly virtually, in The National Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) project and other efforts to assist in defeating COVID.

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NETCCN can be tiered to support a multitude of environments.
30 June, 2020 TATRC Builds the National Tele-Critical Care Network

TATRC Director COL Jeremy Pamplin received the Warning Order from MRDC Headquarters in early March: What can TATRC do to advance the fight against COVID-19?

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NETCCN logo
30 June, 2020 TATRC Launches National Tele-critical Care Program

This past April, TATRC, in collaboration with the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC), issued a Request for Project Proposals (RPP), and subsequently, nine awards for a new national tele-critical care program.

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Army Maj. (Dr.) Steven Hong, chief of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, tests the effectiveness of the CAMIC in late March. Hong was one of the device’s inventors. (Photo by Capt. [Dr.] Timothy Blood Jr.)
30 June, 2020 TATRC & WRAIR Team Up on New Device to Shield Surgeons While Treating COVID Patients

An old English proverb says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That never proved to be more true than now, while we witness our Nation striving to adapt and fight against the invisible enemy known as COVID-19.

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A healthcare provider at WRNMMC sporting one of the 3D printed face shields engineered in part by TATRC’s dedicated team of volunteers!
30 June, 2020 TATRC Rises Up and Aids the “Front Lines” in the Battle Against COVID-19

COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the world, leaving despair and isolation as a feeling that many are trying to grow accustomed to. However, with all trials that Americans have faced, we have risen up and shown the world there are always helpers standing by, waiting to assist.

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Screenshot of TATRC COVID-19 Resource page
30 June, 2020 TATRC Unveils New COVID Resource Page

TATRC has launched a special addition to the TATRC.org website specifically dedicated to telemedicine as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new TATRC COVID-19 Resource page is a clinically and technically curated reference tool for official COVID-19 specific guidance and websites; as well as a reference for emerging digital health and advanced medical technology research, focused on current trends, processes, and future directions.

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Ms. Tanya Rexrode hard at work creating “COVID cleaning kits” for our buildings
30 June, 2020 Many Hands, One Team: TATRC Tackles COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, stories of selflessness, sacrifice, and coming together for the greater good have been told the world over. Here at TATRC, we’re privileged enough to be able to highlight just a few instances of our very own team members pitching in and going the extra mile to help out during a time when everyone could use an extra hand.

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Dr. Gary Gilbert, and wife Dr. Trinka Coster, celebrated the occasion with more than 90 attendees!
30 June, 2020 Dr. Gary Gilbert, TATRC’s “MISL Man,” Blasts Off into Retirement

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 marked the end of an era as COL (R) Dr. Gary Reed Gilbert, TATRC’s renowned thought-leader, pioneer, and innovator known throughout the world of military medicine, said farewell and officially began a well-earned retirement!

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Thank you to our outstanding Office Administrators Graphic
30 June, 2020 Awesome Admins Deserve Accolades and Appreciation

As we all know and experienced first hand, life during the COVID-19 pandemic has been anything but normal. With multiple daily teleconferences, remote meetings, desktop VTC’s and overall disconnection becoming the norm, the ability to build and maintain connections became more important than ever.

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May 2020

Navy Lt. Caroline Mosher, a nurse anesthesia student at USU’s Graduate School of Nursing, conducts “proof-of-concept” testing using the CAMIC.  (Photo courtesy of LtCol Robert Long)
28 May, 2020 New Invention Helps Protect Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

If necessity and innovation are the driving forces behind invention, then the “COVID-19 Airway Management Isolation Chamber,” or CAMIC, is the perfect creation. The device, conceived, designed, built and tested by Military Health System and the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) personnel, may be the answer to protecting healthcare workers from COVID-19 and other viruses during patient care.

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April 2020

Capt. (Dr.) Jonathan Perkins, a senior resident at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, using the CAMIC in the operating room.
29 April, 2020 A new device from Army doctors could be a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19

A team of Army doctors may have found the answer to the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages impacting health care workers who are on the front lines of the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

A new device, called the COVID-19 Airway Management Isolation Chamber (CAMIC), is the brain-child of military doctors and researchers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, the Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington State, and the Fort Belvoir Army Community Hospital in Virginia, among other institutions.

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A soldier tries on a prototype of the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during a soldier touch point evaluation that began at Fort Pickett, Virginia, on Oct. 28, 2019. U.S. Army Futures Command photo
29 April, 2020 Army's Futuristic Combat Goggles Can Screen Soldiers for Fever

U.S. Army modernization officials have figured out how to use the service's new experimental combat goggles to scan soldiers for fever during coronavirus screenings.

The Army is in the middle of testing prototypes of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), a sophisticated set of googles based on Microsoft's HoloLens technology, that are designed to give soldiers a heads-up display.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker, Connecticut Air National Guard
21 April, 2020 US Army doctors invent COVID-19 isolation chamber to protect hospital staff

BETHESDA, Maryland -- Army doctors working at hospitals within the Defense Health Agency have prototyped an isolation chamber that can be placed over the head and chest of patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

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Nicole Hawkins, a health system administrator, and Ronald Twitchel, a clinical workflow analyst, show how Virtual Video Visit works, Friday, at the Killeen Medical Home, a CRDAMC health clinic in Killeen. The program allows doctors to see their patients virtually.
23 April, 2020 CRDAMC establishes telemedicine in local medical homes

KILLEEN — In what started as an idea to incorporate a telehealth platform into regular health clinics has now become commonplace for Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s Killeen Medical Home and Harker Heights Medical Home during this period of social distancing.

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brendt Feldt, a surgeon at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, conducts a virtual health appointment via synchronous video, April 7. Virtual Health utilization has increased more than five times during COVID-19 operations at LRMC, allowing patients, providers and support staff to continue delivering high-quality patient care virtually while following recommended physical distancing measures to minimize contact. (Marcy Sanchez)
22 April, 2020 Virtual Health bridges the gap in patient care during COVID operations

LANDSTUHL, Germany -- From Periodic Health Assessments to in-depth to full examinations, the role of virtual health in terms of medical readiness across the military branches is apparent now more than ever.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker, Connecticut Air National Guard
17 April, 2020 TATRC's NEW NETCCN Proposal is Officially Open! DOD's plan for 'virtual critical care wards' for COVID-19 patients

What if health care professionals, instead of sending coronavirus victims to overcrowded, understaffed hospitals, could download an app, register their patients and have them admitted to a virtual ward in a temporary hospital where a teleconnected critical care team could monitor their progress via local sensors, wearables or mobile devices?

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March 2020

TATRC’s first-ever Virtual Town Hall held amidst the quarantine.
31 March, 2020 Team TATRC Goes Virtual Amidst Quarantine

Not even COVID-19 could slow us down here at Team TATRC! In the wake of the Coronavirus, the entire organization went remote and “virtual” on 17 March, and completely shifted to telework due to statewide “stay-at-home” orders and social distancing guidelines. Understandably, these conditions have added some complexity to work life, not the least of which includes the quarterly Town Hall meetings held by Director COL Jeremy Pamplin.

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LTC(P) Justin Stewart, DO, MBA, MHA (Deputy Director)
31 March, 2020 TATRC Deputy Gets Picked up for Promotion to O6!

Congratulations are in order as our dutiful and dedicated Deputy Director, LTC Justin Stewart, has been selected for COLONEL and is now LTC (P) Stewart! A board-certified, Internal Medicine Physician who completed his residency at Brooke Army Medical Center, and whose education includes a DO from the UNT Health Science Center--Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and a MBA and MHA from Baylor University, LTC (P) Stewart has served...

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Mr. Matt Quinn, TATRC’s newest Science Director.
31 March, 2020 TATRC Welcomes the Arrival of NEW Science Director

Please join us in extending a very warm welcome to our newest addition to join TATRC’s Command and Leadership Team. Mr. Matt Quinn joins the Team as TATRC’s third Science Director! Mr. Quinn officially began his tenure with us in early March, and we are thrilled to have him on board!

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TATRC Deputy Director, LTC(P) Justin Stewart, participated in an inter-agency panel at the 2020 NASA HRP Investigators’ Workshop that examined NASA and Army medicine parallels.
31 March, 2020 TATRC Blasts Off on a “Launch Date” with NASA

Over the last 12 months, TATRC has been working closely with the Human Research Performance (HRP) team at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to explore ways in which our common goals to expand digital health capabilities for asynchronous prolonged field care can be achieved together through a research partnership.

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TATRC was well represented by our Director, COL Jeremy Pamplin, Medical Modeling Simulation Informatics and Visualization (MMSIV) Lab Lead and senior research scientist, Mr. Geoff Miller, Ms. Lori DeBernardis, the Director of TATRC’s Marketing & PAO, and MMSIV’s Project Officer, Mr. Jimmy Gaudaen, all actively engaged.
31 March, 2020 Team TATRC Participates at Record Breaking IMSH Conference!

TATRC was once again honored to attend and take part in one of our favorite simulation events of the entire calendar year! The 2020 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) took place 18-22 January, in sunny San Diego, CA and was another record breaking year for IMSH with over 4,100 attendees taking part in this unique event. As the world’s largest conference dedicated to healthcare simulation learning and research, this major event is always a keystone for TATRC.

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Stay Tuned Graphic
31 March, 2020 Big News on the Horizon for Team TATRC!

Big news is on the horizon here at TATRC! The Team has been hard at work refocusing and creating a new path forward for TATRC that will better align itself to the recent restructuring that has happened across the entire DoD. With our organization now falling under the Army Futures Command, we wanted to adapt and reengineer our mission and the vision that TATRC will have for the future.

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COL Jeremy Pamplin, second from right, listens during a panel discussion at the Ninth Annual Department of Defense State-of-the-Science Meeting on Blast-related Burn Injury Research on March 3. (Photo Credit: Ramin A. Khalili, USAMRDC Public Affairs)
11 March, 2020 Minds Over Matter in Fight to Aid Blast-related Burn Victims

As COL Jeremy Pamplin, Director of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's (USAMRDC) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), took to the podium at the Ninth Annual Department of Defense State-of-the-Science Meeting on Blast-related Burn Injury Research on March 3, he pointed to a slide already posted on the projector – a battlefield image showing several Soldiers actively tending to a single, injured Soldier.

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January 2020

Capt. Barkef ‘Kory’ Osigian of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Regiment, rallies paratroopers after a competition in Alaska.
(Credit: U.S. Air Force/Alejandro Peña)
23 January, 2020 A HEALTHY SOLDIER IS A READY SOLDIER

There is an African proverb that states, “It takes a village ...” This maxim also holds true for the holistic approach required for soldiers who are ready, lethal and able to meet the Army’s needs.

Initiatives from the Army’s SHARP, Ready and Resilient Directorate; the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Holistic Health and Fitness Program; and the U.S. Army Futures Command’s Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team recognize the importance of a holistic approach to soldier lethality.

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