The O2X Integrated Specialist Program (ISP) places elite human performance professionals within an organization. These specialists work on-site at each respective location, implementing programs designed to improve the mental, physical, and emotional health of the organization’s members.
Since the inception of the ISP, departments from across the tactical population, including four agencies within the military and law enforcement service, have reaped the benefits of full-time access to human performance professionals.
Check out some of the accomplishments from our On-site Specialists over the course of Q3 ‘23:
Mass National Guard – Program Manager Devon Smith
The ISP team at the MANG are finishing out the fiscal year strong by hosting seminars and courses, providing support for total force initiatives, and assisting leadership in data collection to provide SME recommendations for action.
A major initiative from the Warrior FIT performance team has been to support yellow ribbon events that are either welcoming the SMs home from deployment or preparing them for deployment. Presentations were held on nutritional and physical readiness in consideration of returning to day to day life for the soldiers of the 182nd Infantry. In contrast, the on-site specialists presented on the same topics to the 747th Military Police with regards to preparing for deployment and how to identify and integrate new habits while out in the field and away from home. At both yellow ribbon events, a booth was staffed where the specialists spoke with Soldiers and their families about how the domains of holistic health and fitness can best fit into their lives. SMs who came by the booth took advantage of the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one consultations with the performance team and walk away with handouts addressing strategies to optimize physical, nutritional, mental, and sleep readiness.
Continued support for the Recruit Sustainment Program and Officer Candidate School was another highlight from this past quarter. The team has coordinated with leadership to sustain a presence within our recruits’ and officer candidates’ education as they take the next steps in their military careers.
The Warrior FIT Tier 1 workshop series saw its synthesis (weekend 2/3) and capstone (weekend 3/3) events over the past quarter to complete our 6-day workshop series for FY23. Soldiers in attendance received hands on and classroom education centered
around the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) domains. These soldiers learned about:
Proper movement mechanics and how to incorporate them into a physical training routine
Sustainable nutrition strategies and how to eat for health and longevity
Mental performance strategies such as mindset, goal setting, and breathing drills to better control stress while improving cognitive health
The importance of improving sleep quality with actionable takeaways to “Control the controllable”
A post-workshop survey and analysis showed that 83% of Soldiers would highly recommend this program to MAARNG leadership and fellow Soldiers. As well as 74% of Soldiers improved their ACFT scores between the first and final IDT weekends (8 weeks).
Several other total force support initiatives took place over the quarter to provide MANG SMs with education and training from the WFIT performance team. The On-Site Strength and Conditioning specialist, Devon Smith, hosted morning PT sessions for Airmen attending a 4-day leadership course at Hanscom Air Force Base. Airmen showed up ready to train in the early morning to get their day started off on the right track. The On-Site Nutrition Specialist, Jenna Stedman, provided education on supplement safety during a virtual course for MANG SMs as well as in person education for AGR Soldiers from the 151st Regional Support Group. To support total force readiness, the team held a data collection event to establish recommendations for MANG leadership on body composition utilizing different assessment tools. Soldiers from the Joint Force Headquarters element participated in the study by undergoing three different methods of body composition assessment to include – air displacement plethysmography, bioelectrical impedance, and the Army’s circumference tape test. The intent is to compare the results of each method and how they may differ in accuracy across different ages, genders, and ethnicities. In collaboration with MANG SMs, the team will be hosting an ACFT grader course to provide Soldiers with all of the tools they need to run a successful ACFT and support those being assessed with the proper technique and resources in preparation for the test. ACFT grader certification is not a current requirement, however, it is believed that providing these future graders with the knowledge and tools that can benefit the total force will further establish the MANG as a leading state within the National Guard as a whole.
Berkeley Public Safety – Program Manager Gary Heron
Summer winding down did not mean things were slowing down in Berkeley. Gary and Jacqueline continued to be busy with a variety of events as well as a continued presence in both the Berkeley Fire and Police Departments.
During August, Gary, working in conjunction with Lt. Turner from BPD, began hosting Wednesday morning group workouts at the PSB gym for members of the Berkeley police department. Weekly invites are sent out and Gary then crafts workouts for the group and leads them while providing coaching throughout the session. These 45-60 minute sessions include a dynamic warm up that helps improve flexibility and mobility, then power development and core activation, strength, and finally a metabolic conditioning component. Interest has continued to grow over the last month and a half with steady attendance each week.
September saw the launch of the 1st annual BPD O2X Fall Fitness Challenge. Over the course of 4 weeks participants completed 1 weekly challenge and their scores were ranked among their peers dependent on their sex and age groups. The person with the best overall scores in each bracket was the winner and Berkeley Police Association members were eligible to win $125. It was a fun, competitive event to get people to test themselves in a variety of physical tasks with a chance to win a little cash to boot.
With the major push around the SWEAT pillar, the Berkeley Police Association also invested in their members by renovating the gym and incorporating new equipment. Gary and Jacqueline were getting many questions about the new gym equipment and put together a few “How to..” videos.
September also saw the first of two O2X workshops for BPD members, this time focusing on nutrition and fueling for performance. Hosted at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office training center in Dublin, CA, O2X registered dietitian Andrea Givens led this talk. Members were taught how to calculate their own macronutrient profiles along with how to hydrate properly and adjust their intake to meet their work capacity needs. Participants also learned how to improve their overall health and performance through actionable 1% changes. Members who didn’t attend this session will get a chance to attend in October.
“Jacqueline helped diagnose, rehab, and PT my calf injury through the entire recovery process from start to finish. She was patient and thorough each session and changed the game plan according to my personal progress and heal time. Jacqueline was great at showing me the techniques and exercises that I was neglecting and unaware of in order to rehab my calf injury. Jacqueline helped me to work the little muscles surrounding the injured area that I never knew needed to be strengthened in order to prevent future injury. I am thankful that Jacqueline has taken the time to make a personalized plan for me before during and after my injury. Thanks Jacqueline!”- Berkeley Firefighter/Paramedic
Arlington County Police – On-Site Specialist Wayne Sasso
This quarter marks the first 90 days for ACPDs On-Site-specialist, Wayne Sasso. Wayne hit the ground running and found success providing outreach for his role and O2X resources. Wayne spent time providing education in roll calls and briefs for the different sections of the department. He also provided one-on-one consultations for sworn and non-sworn members of the department. Wayne Sasso was featured in the department’s virtual town hall and participated in a Mental Performance Q&A. Wayne has been a great resource and provided performance coaching during the department’s quarter 3 pistol qualifications and during new operators training. Through his work up to this point, Wayne has worked with department members to address individual performance improvement, decision making as a leader, and management of anxiety.
“Wayne provides a helpful perspective when talking through job and performance related issues. I find it especially helpful when Wayne talks about how he has experienced and encountered problems similar to mine either in his own professional experience or through his work with O2X. Knowing that you are not alone when facing a challenge can be very powerful and uplifting.” – Arlington County Police Officer
As ACPD’s OSS continues to be a resource to career members of the department, Wayne has been focused on coaching and providing education to the department’s recruits. Wayne delivered a presentation on mental performance to recruits in session 149. He has also been a great resource as the new officers work through FTO.
In addition to providing education and coaching, Wayne has worked with supervisors to review and improve the Performance Review process. Chief Penn has identified the performance review process as one that he would like to see enhanced. Wayne will continue to work with supervisors to improve the content and frequency of these meetings.
On the back end of things, Wayne has been working with the O2X team to develop different forms of data collection. Wayne has worked with the team to create a stress assessment and is currently working to develop a psychological skills inventory to better identify strengths and areas of focus for mental skills training.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office – On-Site Specialist Kelli Kehoe
The very end of Q2 was when the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office integrated an O2X On-Site Mental Performance Specialist, Kelli Kehoe. She hit the ground running and began meeting with many different units and leadership within PBSO, to begin to explain to them who she is and introduce O2X and our EAT SWEAT THRIVE methodology and resources. During these meetings, Kelli was also able to discuss her role within PBSO and brainstorm any initiatives they thought would be pertinent for her to begin working on. During the month of July, 12 district visits were made, including 1 ride along, and 13 line-ups. These touch points were crucial in order to begin to spread awareness of the O2X mission and gain helpful knowledge on the roles within PBSO.
August was very busy for on-site specialist, Kelli Kehoe. Kelli taught her first course using the O2X EAT SWEAT THRIVE methodology to Administration Managers during their monthly meeting. This course was taught to a total of 43 individuals and was based on the concepts of Mental Performance and what it is. Within the month of August, OSS Kelli was able to utilize her knowledge base in her first individual session with a deputy. This was OSS Kelli’s introductory session and opportunity to sit down and meet with a deputy individually to discuss their needs and the way forward for them using mental performance as a tool to help them after coming back from a major injury.
During the final month of Q3, OSS Kelli began working with many different speciality units such as the Mounted Unit, Vehicular Homicide, Task Force, and Court Services. Within these different specialty units, Kelli is working with leadership to conduct many different classes and obstacle courses to show the effectiveness of mental performance within law enforcement, and is also working with the Mounted Unit to understand how Equine Therapy can be a tool used for deputies within PBSO. OSS Kelli is also working on initiatives within PBSO for Wellness Rooms around different districts and conducting research into what equipment should be offered and the regulation of these rooms.
Lastly, for the month of September OSS Kelli was asked to conduct PBSOs Quarterly Training for Q3 and gave it on the topic of Optimizing Performance When it Matters Most. The specific topics that were discussed during this training were:
- What is Mental Performance and Identifying their Performance Moments
- Identifying Effective Communication and Building Active Listening
OSS Kelli is continuing to gain traction within PBSO and is hoping going into Q4 that she is going to keep that momentum.
About O2X Human Performance:
O2X Human Performance provides comprehensive, science-backed programs to hundreds of public safety departments, federal agencies, and the military. O2X works with clients to elevate culture, improve mental and physical wellbeing, support healthy lifestyles, and reduce healthcare costs associated with injuries and illnesses. Driven by results and cutting edge research, O2X programs are designed and delivered by a team of Special Operations veterans, high level athletes, and hundreds of leading experts in their respective fields of human performance.