In an effort to monitor and improve the health and morale of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, brigade commander Col. Johnnie Johnson Jr. has formed the brigade’s Health Promotion Council.
The eight-person council meets every Wednesday to review unit statistics, discuss possible ways to improve the health of the brigade and offer recommendations to Johnson.
“We have been compiling information about the brigade from a variety of different sources,” said 1st Lt. Aaron Griffin, medical operations officer for 3rd HBCT.
“For instance, we’re getting numbers from the dining facility regarding how many Soldiers are eating there throughout the week and on the weekends. We can track how many Soldiers are coming to sick call and look at the type of injuries and illnesses that are commonplace and what type of training is going on that week. We are getting numbers from legal to see the number of administrative actions that are pending.
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“As we pull all of this information from these different sources, we are getting better insight into what is going on with the brigade.”
The council is made up of the brigade surgeon, public affairs officer, equal opportunity representative, safety officer, chaplain, staff judge advocate, behavioral health, family readiness support assistant, executive officer and the deputy commander.
Griffin explained that each department representative brings a different aspect of the brigade’s overall health and morale to the attention of the council.
“What we are not doing is asking for anyone to do more work,” he said. “We are already tracking so many things. The information we need is already out there, my job is just to bring it all together to help the colonel see the bigger picture.”
An example of one of Johnson’s uses of the council is his initiative to improve the Gibson Dining Facility and encourage more Soldiers to eat there.
“Colonel Johnson wants the dining facility to be the Soldiers’ first choice when they decide where to eat,” Griffin said.
“He wants people to travel from Main Post to eat on the Hill. In order to achieve that, he approved renovations to the outside and inside of the building, ordered new televisions for the dining rooms and promoted the new sandwich bar. We hope that those changes will encourage more people to stay on the Hill instead of going off to eat fast food.”
Johnson, who meets with the council every two weeks, said he is using the council and other sources of information to help gauge what areas he needs to focus on.
“A lot of it is about getting feedback from the Soldiers,” he said. “Sensing sessions are a part of it. I use data from the surveys we employ the GAT (Global Assessment Tool) and Risk surveys to get a holistic view of what is going on.”
Johnson hopes that using this data will promote a healthy connected climate at Kelley Hill for 3rd HBCT Soldiers and their families.
“That is the nature of our business,” he said. “A healthy brigade is disciplined, focused and capable of accomplishing the widest array of missions. Healthy Soldiers contribute to our communities at large; our Fort Benning community, or Columbus community and the Army community at large.”
Both Johnson and Griffin said the council is still in its collection phase and will need more data before they can get an accurate picture of what is going on with the 3rd HBCT.
“Right now we are in a full court press on information gathering,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we can gather enough information on what our need areas are and what our top priorities should be.”