Optimizing Special Operations Forces Operator Talents and Mission Capabilities: Human Performance Optimization and Total Force Fitness Capability-Based Blueprint and Targeting System

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20(1). 113 - 119 (Journal Article)

The Special Operations Forces (SOF) community represents an impressive degree of diversity in talents, culture, mission essential tasks, and occupational risk exposures across Service branches, their career fields, and units. Sustaining the capabilities of the SOF Operator across a career lifespan requires collaboratively addressing the current gap between medical readiness and mission readiness with support services and their SOF end users. Given the diverse needs of SOF Operators and their units, realigning performance and health (P&H) service delivery to meet their specific needs will require the adoption of an alternative business framework, operationally focused metrics, and retargeting to ensure SOF Operators are not just medically ready, but mission ready. With restructuring of P&H service delivery occurring across the Department of Defense at all levels to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy, there is a greater need for collaborative synchronization, targeting, and validating operational return on investment with SOF Operators and SOF stakeholders. Here, we present the Human Performance Optimization (HPO) and Total Force Fitness (TFF) Capabilities-Based Blueprint (CBB) and Targeting System as an initial step to realigning service delivery. We examine the use of CBB as a translational tool to bridge the divide between P&H services and SOF Operator communities, and demonstrate how the CBB has significant applications to help construct appropriate programming and program evaluation, align resources and needs, and provide culturally appropriate services that should sustainably preserve SOF Operators' unique capabilities and their mission.

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