America is known for taking an almost no expense—spared approach to developing new weapon systems and military capabilities, yet by and large the intricacies of the individual soldier's physiology, and how it can be maintained and maximized, has remained something of a mystery. Until now...
In the Special Operations Command's (SOCOM) push to not just build, but also to maintenance a better super-soldier, they have turned to cutting edge sports medicine to uncover the science behind what makes their operators tick, and in some cases, stop ticking as it may be.
Enter the U.S. Special Operations Command's Human Performance Program, detailed in this edition of Airman, the U.S. Air Force official magazine.
Under this program, SOCOM is aiming to keep special operators in the fight longer while also maximizing their abilities to maintain peak performance over longer periods of time. This research could lead to new training methods and preventative therapy that can save soldiers from potential injuries in the field and may allow them to fight harder and longer than ever before.
In other words, Navy SEALs, USAF Combat Controllers, Army Rangers and other special forces soldiers may all one day be as technically examined, tested and developed under laboratory conditions just as the high-tech weapons they carry into harms way are.
Also, this new approach to military medicine will treat injured operators like a broken piece of high-tech equipment, and doctors, scientists and nurses will see themselves as much as restorative technicians as healthcare providers.
Really, this cutting edge approach to building and sustaining a better warfighter is giving these soliders a similar scientific leg up to athletes that make millions of dollars a year shooting a ball through a hoop currently enjoy. Whether a person is running with an M4 or a football in their hands, it is all about winning and maximizing an individual's physiological potential to do so.
Seeing as America's special forces soldiers are our starting lineup, so to speak, this new approach to making them more competitive and to healing their injuries faster and more fully, or preventing them from happening in the first place, is a welcomed development.
U.S. special forces soldiers- lab tested, enemy unapproved.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com