The Cooperative Extension System as a Force Multiplier Toward Achieving Total Force Fitness

A few weeks ago we discussed the concept of force-multipliers and gave some background on the Cooperative Extension System, today we’d like to re-focus that conversation to discuss how the CES can work towards achieving Total Force Fitness.  

When working toward total force fitness within military communities, there are three essential questions you can begin with:

  • How do you determine a methodology to assess the health, well-being, and resiliency needs/requirements of your community/population?
  • How do you compare those needs/requirements to the community’s capability to meet those needs?
  • Once you identify gaps in being able to meet your community needs, how do you develop a plan to address these gaps?

The Cooperative Extension System is operated through the nation’s Land-Grant University System in partnership with the federal and state and local governments. As the federal partner, NIFA develops methods to address national priorities, funds and awards grants, and provides program leadership. The agency supports both the universities and local CES offices to bring science directly to the regional and county level.

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) is a nationwide, non-credit educational network that addresses public needs by providing non-formal higher education and learning activities to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth, and families throughout the nation. With an organization that has been operating for over a century, CES is well positioned to efficiently get needed tools and knowledge into the hands of the people who need them.

UNPRECEDENTED REACH

At a time when social, agricultural, food, and environmental challenges are mounting and needs are growing, CES is more relevant than ever. With its wide reach — an office in or near most of the nation’s approximately 3,000 counties — extension agents and educators help farmers grow crops, homeowners plan and maintain their homes, and youth learn skills to become tomorrow’s leaders. Military families and veterans have always been regular users of CES, however, greater emphasis on these populations is underway. The bottom line is that the Cooperative Extension System is a federal agency that has massive community reach, extensive experience in relevant subject areas, and a long history of a solid reputation.

 

Working Toward Total Force Fitness

Total Force Fitness (TFF) is a DoD framework for well-being that views “health, wellness, and resilience and as holistic concept”, requiring “a connection among mind, body, spirt, and social relationships”.

Main Points:

  • *TFF was created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and became policy in 2011.
  • TFF is the DoD’s 21st Century paradigm for improving Population Health, and includes eight domains of fitness.
  • TFF is a state in which the individual, family and organization can sustain well-being and performance under all conditions.
  • The Services are responsible for implementing TFF Programs.
  • TFF requires the collaboration of the partners in public health.

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