By: Joe McCullough, O2X Marketing Manager
2022 with O2X Human Performance: a Year In Review
Over 5000 tactical athletes, 2500 Readiness Assessments, 1200 human performance specialists and instructors, 430 training days, and more than 200 events – 2022 was a monumental year for O2X Human Performance. Although our work expanded across a variety of populations, conducting events with the military (75), federal government (57), fire service (45), corporate organizations (8), law enforcement (7), athletic organizations (6), and the healthcare industry (2) – the mission remained the same: provide world class human performance programs customized to the demands of our clients. Here are some of the highlights from this year…
Expansion of the Integrated Specialist Program (ISP)
The O2X Integrated Specialist Program (ISP) embeds an O2X Human Performance Specialist, or team of Specialists, at the core of a department or unit to implement programs designed to improve the mental, physical, and emotional health of its members. This Program identifies and targets organizational needs through observation, education, training, and analysis. Since its inception, clients have seen significant cost savings associated with the Program’s success. In 2022, organizations including Berkeley (CA) Public Safety, the U.S. Army Reserve’s 81st Readiness Division, Timberline Construction, and the U.S. Secret Service all brought on On-Site Specialists (OSS) to assist in optimizing the performance of their members.
At Berkeley, two O2X OSS joined the team to help firefighters and law enforcement officers train properly and stay healthy. Interim Fire Chief David Sprague, who helped to implement the Program said, “As we learn more about the acute and cumulative impacts the work has on our employees’ health and performance, we are keenly interested in making strategic investments that provide the education, support, and coaching our employees need to perform at their best. We know that if our employees’ minds and bodies are healthy, they have the platform to do their best work in the streets.”
On the Law Enforcement side of the house, Lieutenant Jen Tate said, “The prolonged exposure to stress police employees experience can have detrimental long-term health effects. Berkeley Police Department is eager to address the negative impact of the stressors with the support and guidance of O2X On-Site Specialists. We are optimistic that by offering the O2X holistic, entire body wellness program to our police employees, they will be provided the tools necessary to achieve the strength and resiliency necessary to see the finish line of a long, rewarding career.”
At Fort Jackson (SC), the U.S. Army Reserve’s 81st Readiness Division brought on an OSS to act as a Human Performance Advisor to support the pilot implementation of Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness initiative (H2F). To improve comprehensive soldier readiness, the H2F Program aims to measure and enhance efficiency by addressing the unique needs of each unit. Along with the full-time Human Performance Advisor, O2X continues to support the H2F Program in the 81st Readiness Division by providing over 50 weekend training events, each geared towards optimizing performance.
In terms of sustainability, every organization that has started an O2X ISP remains intact. Relationships with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Marshals Service (USMS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Massachusetts National Guard, Washington D.C. Fire & EMS, Frederick County (MD) Division of Fire and Rescue Services, Arlington County (VA) Fire, and more all continue to flourish. Due to the Program’s success, O2X is projected to double the size of the ISP in 2023.
Workshops with the U.S. Navy
In 2022, O2X’s relationship with the U.S. Navy expanded. What began as a leadership initiative for PXO and PCO training at the U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) has progressed into various engagements with populations from across the entire branch.
Funded by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), O2X conducted workshops with sailors in the United States Naval Surface Force (SURFOR) attached to San Diego based Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers (DDG). Ships including the USS Preble (DDG-88), USS Mobile (LCS-26), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14), and USS Gabby Giffords (LCS-10) all received customized wellness training designed to meet the occupational demands and challenges of the Naval Surface Forces – with a priority placed on mental health and mitigating the effects of fatigue.
“Life aboard a ship has always been challenging, and probably always will be, but leaders are working diligently to find better ways to support Sailors,” says Adam La Reau, co-founder of O2X Human Performance. “Historically, the military has put a heavy focus on the maintenance of our gear and equipment. There is a growing recognition that our competitive advantage against our adversaries is our people. A recognition that humans are as vital as hardware in the fight.”.
Additional workshops with Center for Security Forces (CENSEC) in Lackland (TX), Norfolk (VA), and San Diego (CA) as well as engagements with Naval Reserve units in Baltimore (MD) and Norfolk (VA) also took place in 2022. Sailors involved in these training sessions received evidence-based skills to create sustainable lifestyle improvements and better endure the physical and mental stress sustained throughout their careers.
As the training sessions continue, O2X and Navy leadership will leverage sailor feedback and data to shape this Program’s impact and drive expansion across a greater number of ships and Navy units.
This year, O2X delivered eleven workshops to first responder populations through partnerships with organizations including FirstNet, Built with AT&T, The First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE), and MSA – The Safety Company.
To date, FirstNet and O2X have collaborated on nine engagements – including five in 2022 – across six states: Florida, Connecticut, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado. These events have provided training for approximately 65 departments and agencies.
“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day to protect our community and we take their health and wellness seriously,” said Dr. Anna Fitch Courie, DPN, RN, PHNA-BC, Director, Responder Wellness, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “This program has proven successful and we’re hoping our collaboration will allow more first responders to feel equipped both mentally and physically to handle their jobs.”
In addition to FirstNet’s support, O2X partnered with the First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE) to provide workshops for firefighters in Norfolk (VA), Denver (CO), and Riverside (CA) while MSA – The Safety Company sponsored an engagement in Howard County (MD). Over the course of these workshops, participants learned how small, incremental changes can lead to sustainable performance and lifestyle improvements. The curriculum covered strategies to mitigate the risk of injury, tools to enhance performance under pressure and manage high-stress jobs, along with education on proper nutrition, sleep hygiene, and foundations of movement, all designed specifically to meet the unique training needs of first responders.
To accommodate the growth at O2X, a new headquarters was established in Scituate, Massachusetts. A space that began as a movie theater has been converted into our own Joint Operations Center, equipped to facilitate our rapidly expanding and expeditionary organization. Also, regional offices have been established in both the Mid-Atlantic and Southern California to support our nationwide operations.
2022 offered an incredible year to those involved in the O2X mission. As we look forward to 2023, be sure to check out our end-of-year podcast with O2X co-founders Adam La Reau and Paul McCullough, who shed light on what’s to come in the new year.