Tactical athlete care program enables Soldiers to train safely and efficiently
By Desiree Dillehay, Fort Benning Public Affairs /
First in a 3-part series
The Maneuver Tactical Athlete Care program provides treatment, rehab and injury prevention capabilities to basic training and one-station unit training battalions on Fort Benning.
The MTAC program falls under the U.S. Army Medical Command and has twenty full-time athletic trainers embedded with Fort Benning units. MEDCOM officially took over the program from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Aug. 1.
Jacquelyn Hale, an athletic trainer with 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, has worked for the program for almost two years and enjoys being able to work closer as allied health professionals with Martin Army Community Hospital physical therapists to help with trainees’ physical performance.
“If any (Soldiers) come in with a rolled ankle, I will evaluate them, I will treat them, give them exercises to help get them better, and get them back out to training,” said Hale. “Overall our goal is to not have them miss training, but we want to get them back there safely and efficiently.”
“Instead of having to go to the troop medical clinic or sick call, (Soldiers) can just come in here with musculoskeletal injuries, we can look at them and get them back out to training instead of having them miss two weeks of training,” she added. “We can work one-on-one with them to get them better so we can hopefully return them to duty sooner.”
MTAC also supports the Army’s Human Dimension Strategy and enables the trainers to help develop the performance triad, P3, program at the training battalions.
According to the U.S. Army Medical Department’s website, P3 focuses on sleep, activity and nutrition, and provides Soldiers with the tools and knowledge to achieve high levels of performance as a professional Soldier athlete.
According to Hale, briefing the trainees about P3 gives the Soldiers the tools they need to perform better and to be Soldier athletes. “You’re working out, you’re eating better and you’re sleeping better.”
“We’re just here to help the battalion. I work specifically for the trainees and with the cadre. If our cadre is not performing well, they’re not going to be able to teach the trainees correctly,” said Hale. “So I love working with the cadre, because I can’t go out there and take care of 900 (Soldiers). … But if I teach it to the cadre and the drills, they can teach it.”