Recently there was a document posted on the NTF website written by the RAND Corporation regarding the military’s THOR3 program. There were a few comments but not much discussion. Do we really understand how serious the staffing and hiring issues are? This is why NTF was created. The THOR3 performance staff and programs are not where they need to be. Who pays the price because of this? Why are there such inconsistencies?
I was also thinking about the NTF front page statement and what it really means to me.
“National Tactical Fitness (NTF) is a conspiracy that was forged in
the summer of 2010 by former and current U.S. Special Forces
operators. The purpose was to create a community of tactical
professionals that could capitalize upon real life experiences and
specialized training as a means of bettering themselves and their
teams through physical readiness.”
I believe this to mean the “Special Forces operators” are sick and tired with the way the THOR3 program is being managed. Here we are and it is April, 2014 and very little has changed and some areas are much worse. So I guess it’s about time to ask a few questions to the NTF community regarding the THOR 3 program or what has now been renamed the Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF).
So where is the POTFF program today? How does it measure up to the original intent and design? Are all units having the same success? Are all units staffed with equally qualified team members? Is the criteria for selection accurate? Is the job description written appropriately?
Is there a way to prove with a high level of certainty the best person was hired? I believe this is crucial. The soldiers’ survivability and longevity depends on the right person being hired. This is important not only on the battle field but here at home within their units and families. There are many issues that the NSCA, Athletes Performance and the staffing companies never discuss or take into account.
So to answer the question, absolutely not! The selection process is not even close to where it needs to be. The inconsistencies of the performance programs and the staff is embarrassing, unethical and a huge waste of money.
Have we forgotten or have we pushed aside in our hearts and minds what it means to be free? Do we not understand what is required and what price has to be paid? We know what the price is but we don’t like to talk about it. That is because most of us, including me have never stepped forward to write the blank check,” Payable to the United States of America in the amount of, UP TO MY LIFE!” Let that soak in a minute. I have never written a check like that and now I wish I had. We owe more! I owe more!
These tactical athletes deserve the best POTFF team members they can possibly get. So if you are presently a POTFF team member with a unit, if you work for a staffing company with this contract and if you are a special operations soldier you are being called out and held accountable. Here is why.
If you are a POTFF team member and you have been hired because you are buddies with someone in a unit and you are not prepared or qualified, you should graciously and humbly bow out. If you are not in top shape you should resign. If training daily is not a vital part of your life because you lack the self-discipline to motivate yourself you need to quit immediately. If you can’t motivate yourself how will you motivate the special operations soldier? If you don’t think this is a big deal then speak with an operator and ask him what he thinks about you being undisciplined and unfit? Tell him you are not into training seriously but rather you are a health and wellness enthusiast searching for inner happiness. Ask him if he would like to go to your Zumba class?
Here is a good example of what I mean. In the past one of the requirements for the performance dietitians was the CSSD certification. It still may be listed as a requirement and it’s a plus to have. Today this requirement has been relaxed and in some situations waived. If a dietitian does not have this certification but is extremely fit, of the appropriate weight and physical appearance then the CSSD requirement will be disregarded. Anyone care to guess why? The answer is because we don’t respect and trust an overweight dietitian and neither do the operators. Here’s my point. If you were in the hospital and the dietitian walked into your room with a diet instruction and they were 50 pounds overweight, eating an ice cream sandwich and out of breath from walking up one flight of stairs would you listen to them? Of course not! We would let the information in one ear and the out the other. How can the nutrition information that you are given be accurate? If it’s so important why isn’t the dietitian taking their own advice? I have heard this situation has happened many times from operators and staffing companies. It’s the truth. Athletes Performance interviewed my wife who is a dietitian. She was asked if she worked out regularly and what type of routine she was involved in. She was then asked if she was of the appropriate body weight and looked fit. I’m glad these questions were asked.
Why aren’t the strength and conditioning specialist asked these questions and held to this standard? Have you seen some of the strength coaches in these units? Have you ever wondered why this program is not mandatory? This is one of the reasons.
If you are an operator within one of these units it’s time to speak out. Tell the staff member how this opposes your way of life and you would appreciate it if they would pack up and move on. If you allow these inconsistencies to continue then you will be contributing to the problem.
Finally to all the staffing companies who applied for this contract because it pays well and the application process was simple then you are dishonest and need to be told so. To you it’s a paycheck but to the soldiers it’s a trust violated. Take a stand and be more selective. Do not offer a contract to an applicant just because they are friends on Facebook with a coordinator. You will embarrass yourself and develop a bad reputation. This is a serious issue and needs to change.