An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | March 31, 2023

CNGB Fitness Challenge Continues with Team Building

By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. - National Guard Soldiers and Airmen working as a team can do far more than when working alone. 

That’s why team building is April’s theme for the National Guard Holistic Wellness Challenge.  

Driven by Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, wellness experts at the  Army National Guard Professional Education Center (PEC) designated April’s emphasis. Teamwork directly supports CNGB’s priority on readiness.  

Fresh off its launch in March, which emphasized sleep enhancement, the challenge focuses on a different holistic health and fitness topic each month.

“Combat is the ultimate team sport. We all work on a team made up of teams,” said Hokanson. “And it’s the team – no matter how large or small – that provides an extra layer of resilience.” 

Army Maj. Benjamin L Seims, a human performance optimization coordinator at the PEC, said increased demand for Guard capabilities requires more physical stamina from Soldiers and Airmen. 

That demand, he added, has created “an even greater need to be agile and resilient,” especially “due to the competitive advantage the Guard gives our military — the health and fitness of our formations play an integral role in the National Defense Strategy.”

For Army Maj. Robert Killian, a plans and project coordinator at NGB’s command, control, communications and computers directorate, team fitness activities are about more than just achieving optimal fitness.

“The most important thing about a team concept is accountability,” said Killian, who was part of the first Army National Guard team that won the Best Ranger competition in 2016. “Whether it’s ensuring that team members don’t leave each other behind or showing up for a workout on time, team exercises keep individuals motivated.”

But for the “sake of competition,” he said, team activities help improve individual performance. 

“You just can’t get to a level of going past your threshold unless you’re competing,” said Killian, adding the team concept inspires others to “gravitate toward someone who’s going to push them and make them stronger.” 

Some team fitness activities range from contemporary military exercises, such as medical ball slams and air squats, to the Dynamic Duo, where one group running in place determines how long another group exercises. Even the traditional ruck march is encouraged, Seims said. 

Whatever the activity, he said, the benefits highlight the interpersonal skills of trust, cohesion, diversity and leadership — all critical elements in a “teamwork-driven world.” 

“We are constantly surrounded by the challenge and satisfaction of working with diverse, uniquely organized groups of individuals that require the mastery of interpersonal skills to navigate successfully,” he said. 

Hokanson said team building in physical fitness activities creates good spirits and inspiration. 

“Be dedicated, be disciplined, measure your progress and try to have fun,” Hokanson said. “But you don’t always have to go it alone. Inspire others, and be inspired by others, as a team.”  
 

 

 

Related Articles
A California Air National Guard C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, assigned to the 146th Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) performs a water drop during MAFFS training at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Port Hueneme, California, April 24, 2024. Air National Guard aircrew from the California Air National Guard's, 146th Airlift Wing and the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, train together to accomplish their aerial firefighting certification alongside the U.S. Forest Service and other wildfire prevention agencies. The recertification training includes classroom sessions, flying and ground operations for Air Force aircrews, civilian lead plane pilots, and support personnel from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal and state agencies. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Ulber)
National Guard Ready for Potential Record-Breaking Wildfire, Hurricane Season
By Air Force Master Sgt. Amber Monio, | May 31, 2024
ARLINGTON, Va. — With 2024 projected as one of the hottest years on record, climate scientists have noted a heightened risk of hurricanes and wildfires, but National Guard officials said the Guard is more prepared than ever...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, joins Army Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, Washington's adjutant general, to visit Washington National Guardsmen and Royal Thai Air Force members training together during exercise Enduring Partners 2024, Bangkok, Thailand, May 9, 2024. Thailand and the Washington Guard have been paired under the Defense Department National Guard State Partnership Program since 2002.
In Thailand, Hokanson Sees Enduring Partners in Name and Practice
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | May 21, 2024
BANGKOK –The National Guard’s top officer visited with Washington Guardsmen and Royal Thai Armed Forces troops training together May 7-9. The Washington National Guard has worked closely with Thailand under the Defense...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, joins Cara Calvin-McFerren, mayor pro tem, West Liberty, Iowa and Jessica Chang, chief executive officer, Upwards, to sign a pilot child care intergovernmental support agreement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, May 13, 2024. The initiative helps Army National Guard Soldiers with community-based child care on drill weekends.
National Guard Expands Pilot Child Care Program
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | May 14, 2024
WASHINGTON – Army Guardsmen in 20 states now can access drill weekend child care after the National Guard’s most senior leader signed an agreement with public partners expanding a pilot program at a Pentagon ceremony May 13...