Senior Leader Sustainment Program - a priority for the Army War College

By Robert Martin USAWC PAO    23 August 2019

In conjunction with senior leader resiliency day the Army War College invited Dr. Stella Volpe from Drexel University's Department of Nutrition, to talked about the benefits of SLS, some stressors senior leaders face and specific nutritional informat

Today’s senior leaders face multiple challenges and demands, to include heightened career pressure, legal responsibilities, expectations of being “perfect,” and more. There’s a program for that.

The Army War College signaled its priorities for the Class of 2020 by scheduling in the first week an orientation to wellness and nutrition, and the program that can guide their health and fitness. The Senior Leader Sustainment Program is unique to the Army War College, and offered to resident and distance students of the signature USAWC program, and to the Command/Sergeants Major in the Nominative Leader Course.

“This year should be about you the individual and your individual health,” said Col. Kimo Gallahue, USAWC Deputy Commandant. “The Senior Leader Sustainment Program is a large part of that. Senior Leader Resiliency Day is meant to highlight taking in interest in your personal health and wellbeing in this 10 months, he said to the student body in Bliss Hall, Aug. 6.

Dr. Stella Volpe laid out a series of insights about the keys to physical and cognitive performance.

The Drexel University Chair of the Nutrition Sciences Department offered detailed insights about using food to combat the stressors associated with senior leadership.

“General healthy eating is boring; it’s not exciting,” she said, “But it is really what we should strive for. Food should be celebrated. Food should be consumed well.”Health eating includes consuming adequate energy and nutrients, promoting optimal recovery from training, and maintaining hydration and appropriate body composition.

“Proteins, carbohydrates and fats need to be eaten all the time,” she clarified. “There is not a need to stay away from one food or another. Combining these food are very important to our health.”

Dr. Volpe’s interactive session is the first element of a yearlong program to guide, enable, and encourage the healthy lifestyle behaviors that can, ultimately, make or break a successful career.

Maj. Dawn Ryan is program manager for the Senior Leader Sustainment Program. She gave a brief overview of the program and, “reasons why you should spend two hours with us” to manage the factors that contribute to higher levels of stress and cardiovascular disease.

The holistic SLSP assessment considers bloodwork, a performance lab (body fat, treadmill test, and strength test), diet, and healthcare provider consultation. It results in personalized feedback that may include lifestyle recommendations, e.g., sleep, stress management, cardio/power exercises, and as necessary, medical intervention. The program is supported by the health care professionals of Dunham US Army Health Clinic.