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We’ve been following the Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) pilot program over the last few months. Today we’d like to expand upon the information that we initially provided, to take a closer look at the objectives of BHMC as well as some of the data that is driving the need for this program.


Mission of Building Healthy Military Communities

The Building Healthy Military Communities pilot aims to better understand unique challenges faced by geographically dispersed Service members and their families that may impact their readiness, resiliency, and well-being.

Background & History


Over the years, there have been various programs in place to promote healthy lifestyles among service members and their families. In 2013 the Healthy Base Initiative (HBI) was launched to focus on healthy lifestyles on installations across the US.


  • A major conclusion of HBI was that most military families live off the installation and further coordination and leveraging of resources with adjacent communities is an important component of success when considering the well-being.
  • HBI demonstrated a need to coordinate the DoD’s efforts to move from a system that treats disease to one that promotes well-being. The TFF Capabilities Based Assessment (CBA) was chartered to inform the DoD’s long-term strategy for TFF optimization.
  • The CBA is the initial analysis process designed to identify and validate capability gaps. The CBA aims to identify what current efforts exist in the eight TFF domain areas, what gaps exist, and how the DoD can address those gaps.


The findings of the TFF Capabilities Assessment include the following:

The Issues:

The Department of Defense (DoD) lacks a comprehensive plan to improve policies and programs that support the well-being of Service members and their families.

  • There is a limited understanding of differences in well-being outcomes between Active Component (AC) and the Reserve Component (RC), particularly for those that are geographically dispersed.
  • Despite investment in programs supporting Service members, existing data suggest the need for increased support across TFF domains for the geographically dispersed Uniformed Services population.
  • To identify and understand any challenges that exist for the geographically dispersed population, R. 114-63 calls for the execution of a pilot to “ensure enhancement of recruitment, retention, readiness and resilience”.
  • DoD increasingly relies on the RC, consisting of the Guard and the Reserves, due to factors such as decreasing budgets and personnel and funding reductions.


Proposed Plan:

Who is involved?

It is important to note that there will be a BHMC pilot partner within each branch of the military, allowing the Rapid Needs Assessment to complete a full evaluation of the needs of all US service members.

Pilot State Selection:

Rapid Needs Assessment Timeline:

  • Jan 09 – 13, Maryland
  • Jan 23 – 27, New Mexico
  • Feb 6 – 10, Mississippi
  • Feb 27 – Mar 3, Oklahoma
  • Mar 13 – 17, Florida
  • Mar 27 – 31, Indiana
  • Apr 24 – 28, Minnesota

Steps following the RNA:

  • Develop key interventions based on findings from the RNA
  • Execute tailored interventions based on the findings from the RNA
  • Evaluate continuous evaluation of key interventions
  • Review ongoing review of Quarterly Reports from State Coordinators and adjustment of interventions as needed


Engaging Community Partners


Source: Building Healthy Military Communities training, November 2016