Tom Brady’s health and fitness guru Alex Guerrero looks at creating ‘supermen’ for the Pentagon

TAMPA, Fla. – Promises of transforming military technology were just around the corner at the recent Special Operations Forces Week conference, but few compared to upgrading humans.

“I think that’s the future. It comes down to being able to create superhumans,” Alex Guerrero told the audience this week. The doctor is best known for his work on the TB12 method with legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady.

It may sound like science fiction, but Mr. Guerrero’s statement ties into the efforts of a multifaceted American military force to usher in the next phase of evolution for America’s warriors.

Military leaders are embracing biomechanics, mental health, psychological toughness and spiritual awakening to nurture the mind, body and soul together to create warriors fully equipped for 21st century conflict on the battlefield and in the mind.

mr. Guerrero’s concept of “superhumans” hinges on cultivating the microbiomes of elite athletes or other elite individuals and incorporating them into other people’s makeup. Such advanced science could theoretically improve the strength, speed, physical endurance and recovery time of average men and women.

For the Pentagon, that’s an extreme end of a broad spectrum and not ready to implement on a large scale. Military leaders have embraced the broader idea of ​​optimal human performance. The focus is no longer on how high soldiers can jump, how fast they can run, or how quickly they can solve problems in high-stakes environments.

Example: Air Force Major General Michael E. Martin, commander of US Special Operations Command Korea, said the most important factor in ensuring his elite unit is ready for war with North Korea is that the mental toughness, physical fitness and emotional health of his staff are all in top shape.

“The gunship is a great platform, but it’s not worth its weight in gold unless the crew is full, i.e. cognitive, strength maintenance and family, all pillars for us to be well-functioning military members,” General Martin told The Washington Times in an exclusive interview.

“Whether you’re stationed in Korea or the United States, or somewhere else and come to Korea to train hard, [it’s important] that you have every opportunity to make sure that you are functioning at the highest level, cognitively, physically, emotionally, everything is fine,” he said. “You bring out that operator, that combat support officer. That is the secret sauce for me.”

Marrying man and machine

Deep within the Pentagon, a subtle shift is taking place in the use of technology to best assist American combatants.

The best, most advanced equipment has long been part of US military power, but the focus is increasingly on how humans can work with technology in an almost symbiotic way to create capabilities far beyond what they can imagine. can only reach.

Perhaps no program illustrates that approach better than the military’s “hyper-enabled operator” initiative, the offshoot of an ill-fated attempt to build futuristic combat gear similar to that of Marvel superhero Iron Man.

The suit fell short of some of his lofty expectations, but that program’s technology goals are moving full steam ahead. Officials describe equipping special operations forces with technologies that can collect and analyze mountains of data from commercially available sources or social media channels to accurately predict the enemy’s next move on a battlefield.

With all that data available in real time, military personnel may be able to find and identify threats without ever physically seeing them.

“We want this operator to become superusers of their environment across multiple domains, so they kind of are [able] to look around the corner,” Army Colonel Jarret Mathews, director of the Joint Acquisition Task Force at the US Special Operations Command, said during a presentation at the Special Operations Forces conference.

In a wartime environment, Colonel Mathews said, the hyper-enabled operator system could translate road signs, graffiti and other messages from foreign languages ​​into English or whatever language the operator prefers. Such a tool can be vital in battles in foreign lands.

Officials say the system will eventually be able to understand and respond to the user just like a human would, solving problems and gathering information in seconds.

“Don’t think you have to say certain keywords or key phrases. You just talk to it like you would any other person, and it understands your intent and puts together answers,” Colonel Mathews said.

Spirit and soul

Building better soldiers with modern equipment is only part of the equation. What is arguably more important, officials say, is caring for the emotional and psychological well-being of service members.

Technology can help with that too. The U.S. Special Operations Forces community is building tools powered by artificial intelligence that can predict when personnel are on the brink of emotional upheaval or mental health issues that can impact their preparedness and performance under pressure.

“We select people at SOCOM to be resilient. And it is sometimes assumed that once we pick those resilient people, they will be resilient from now on. Once they’re good, they’re good,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Robbins, chief psychologist at the US Special Operations Command, or SOCOM.

“I think the challenge was to think of the psychological domain and that psychological support as something that can enhance performance,” Colonel Robbins said during a panel discussion. “I think the next horizon will often be how can we find out where those are [emotional] snowballs coming? How do we get ahead of taking that data, that AI, that machine learning, and how do we integrate that with the human element?

“How do we incorporate that to give commanders, organizations, a proper risk assessment of how it will affect later when the stress comes?” she said.

Underlying that psychological analysis may be something even more elementary. Major General Thomas L. Solhjem, Chief of Army Chaplains, said that an individual’s spirituality, and finding ways to nurture it, is the core principle on which all other physical and psychological concepts are built.

“It’s really the docking station for everything else we’re talking about,” General Solhjem told an audience at the conference. “Now I think we are at another major turning point. … About 40, 45 years ago we threw the baby out with the bathwater. We have thrown away religion and with it spirituality in an effort to be more inclusive as a people, without realizing the inherent damage we have done to our culture as a result.”

Tom Brady’s health and fitness guru Alex Guerrero looks at creating ‘supermen’ for the Pentagon

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