An Assessment of the Army's Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning Program

An Assessment of the Army's Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning Program

Terrence K. Kelly
Ralph Masi
Brittian A. Walker
Steven A. Knapp
Kristin J. Leuschner
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 104
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    An Assessment of the Army's Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning Program
    Book Description:

    U.S. Army Special Operations Command asked RAND Arroyo Center to determine whether its Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning (THOR3) program is effectively utilizing the resources provided and to identify opportunities for improvement in the program’s planning and implementation, staffing, leader development and education, facility and equipment requirements, and ability to support participating personnel.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8118-6
    Subjects: Business, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Truth number 1 of special operations forces (SOF) is that “Humans are more important than Hardware.”¹ U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and its parent organization, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), recognize not only the special physical, mental, and experiential characteristics of USASOC soldiers, but also the significant investment in time and money it takes to cultivate them. USASOC has created the Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning (THOR³) program to increase the physical and mental capabilities of SOF soldiers, help them recover more rapidly from injuries sustained in combat or in training, and help them stay healthy and...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Organization
    (pp. 7-22)

    This chapter examines the organizational aspects of the THOR³ program. We first summarize the research approach used for this portion of the study and then follow with an analysis of the program’s organizational requirements and structure. Finally, we provide recommendations for changes and assessments.

    To assess organization, we employed a multipart research approach that included reviews of key documents (provided by USASOC), reviews of the larger body of evidence on comparable programs both inside and outside the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and semi-structured telephone interviews with 13 Army civilians serving in THOR³ program key leadership positions. We inquired about...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Personnel
    (pp. 23-32)

    In this chapter, we examine current and future staffing for the THOR³ program in light of the organizational needs just discussed, as well as associated personnel management issues. In particular, we look at the pros and cons of staffing THOR³ with Army civilians versus contract employees. This chapter builds off of the foundation set in the last chapter and focuses on three specific topics: the best staffing mix of Army civilians, contractors, and military personnel; whether current position descriptions will yield program coordinators who can adequately manage the unit-level programs; and issues related to hiring the right personnel. We also...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Leader Development and Education
    (pp. 33-40)

    Leader development and education (LDE) is central to any military organization that strives for excellence, and it is a pillar of the U.S. military DOTMLPF-P system of systems. In this chapter, we look at LDE with respect to THOR³ medical and nonmedical staff, as well as USASOC leaders’ understanding of what THOR³ can do for their units’ effectiveness and their soldiers’ lives. We begin by examining the roles of medical staff, then turn to nonmedical staff, including those (in medical or nonmedical specialties) charged with supervising the delivery of THOR³ services to USASOC units. We conclude with LDE-related observations about...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Facilities, Materiel, and Training Assessment
    (pp. 41-54)

    Unlike the organizational, personnel, and LDE considerations addressed in Chapters Two through Four, materiel and facilities are relatively straightforward subjects. In particular, USSOCOM has specified baselines for each, and USASOC, through its policy of decentralized operation for THOR³, has established an approach to procuring materiel. This chapter provides an overview of these baselines and practices and proposes an approach to assessing the adequacy of both facilities and materiel for the THOR³ program. This assessment approach should ultimately help the USASOC leadership rapidly determine the status of the program with respect to these elements of DOTMLPF-P. Finally, we examine training from the...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Implications for Doctrine and Policy
    (pp. 55-56)

    The doctrine and policy implications of THOR³ are hard to define at this point in the program’s development; it is new and not fully operational, so its effects are not yet clearly understood. In this chapter, we outline the ways in which doctrine and policy could be affected by THOR³ and discuss possible implications. We focus specifically on the Army’s physical fitness program and on physical training in general.

    The most direct effect that THOR³ might have on Army doctrine and policy will likely be on the Army’s physical fitness program. Physical fitness training program requirements are outlined in Army...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Findings and Recommendations
    (pp. 57-62)

    THOR³ is an innovative program, created to maximize the effectiveness and longevity of USASOC’s major investment: its soldiers. It is designed to increase their ability to perform their jobs both physically and mentally and to return wounded soldiers to duty more quickly by providing high-quality, dedicated physical therapy care. All feedback from THOR³ staff, soldiers participating in the program, and USASOC leaders indicated that these goals are being met, though the data to support these assertions are not yet available. USASOC soldiers take years to develop fully, and a major goal of the program is to help them maintain their...

  15. APPENDIX A USSOCOM Planning Template for Small and Large THOR³ Facilities
    (pp. 63-64)
  16. APPENDIX B USSOCOM Materiel Requirements
    (pp. 65-78)
  17. APPENDIX C Site Visits
    (pp. 79-80)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 81-84)