There is a group within the United States Army known as the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Some of you reading this may know them better as The Old Guard. The regiment is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, having served the American people since 1784. If you’ve ever seen a special event involving a President, certain ceremonial events involving foreign leaders, or special protection in the case of an emergency, then you’ve likely seen members of The Old Guard in action.

Spencer Posey is one of the members of this elite group, and you can tell how significant it is to him just by hearing him speak of their role and impact on America.

“It is such a unique piece of American history. We have such a unique mission set.”

Besides being involved with moments at places such as the White House and The Pentagon, one of their most important roles is in mortuary services. Members of one battalion are involved in funerals laying their brothers and sisters to rest.

“We’re not out there shooting and communication, but we’re completing a very different and important set of missions.”

Spencer Posey has been involved with both battalions, and he is definitely serving in a role he was meant to be in. As a kid, Posey played three sports as well as chess. The sport he personally enjoyed the most was wrestling because of the one-on-one aspect that came with matches in that sport. Chess served him very well also.

“All of the responsibility lies on your shoulders,” he explained. “They helped me understand how the world works. What you put into it is what you get out of it.”

Spencer Posey standing next to his barbell bench
Spencer Posey

The physical challenges that came with wrestling combined with the mental stimulation of chess made Posey a natural for serving his country. It also was in his family history. Both of his grandfathers served in World War II, and his father worked for the Army Corps Engineers in Iraq as a civilian. He also has a cousin that is active in the Marines. Posey joined the National Guard in 2008.

“My father had a big part in helping me make that decision.”

Posey would spend a couple of years in the National Guard, but he expressed that the benefits of his time there stayed with him long after.

“I grew up a very big amount,” he said proudly. “For me, that initial military service at 18 really jumpstarted my maturity and my ability to handle intense and difficult situations.”

He also credits that time of his life for renewing his commitment to physical fitness. As a three-sport athlete in high school, he thought he was ready for the rigors of military training. However, he admitted that he was not ready for the mental aspect of it.

“The long ruck marches, the early mornings and late nights, and the long walks that build resilience mentally and physically were tough. Being surrounded by very fit people inspired me to push the bar on my personal fitness.”

That push to excel in personal fitness has helped him both personally and professionally. Aside from being certified as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, he would eventually join the Old Guard and has been active in helping his fellow Old Guard members stay in top shape thanks to the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) System. H2F was created to help present and future heroes remain in top shape in five different domains – physical, mental, spiritual, nutritional, and sleep.

Posey explained that “Our different mission set takes a different toll on our soldiers. The majority of the toll that it takes is not physical. It’s mental, spiritual, lack of sleep, and lack of nutrition.”

Spencer Posey posing on the barbell bench
Spencer Posey

When Posey first joined his current infantry, he was a part of the Mortuary Affairs Team, which meant he was a part of many funerals. In some cases, he helped carry the caskets of those that made the ultimate sacrifice. At one point, he was involved with over 70 funerals in two weeks. He considered that position an honor to have, but it came with a lot of pressure as well.

“Everything we do has to be perfect. We are the last representation of the United States military to be with these fallen soldiers. I took a lot of pride in that, but it’s so heavy. It took a toll on me.”

Spencer Posey consulted with senior leadership and shared he felt that the unique roles his fellow soldiers had required for them to have the best support possible so they can continue doing their work. As great as the soldiers looked and performed, extra focus on the other four domains would be beneficial for their short-term and long-term futures. Senior leadership agreed, and Posey’s request for empowerment was granted. He is now an H2F lead, and one of his responsibilities now is to build a scalable program for The Old Guard.

“We’re going to educate and empower current and future soldiers on Holistic Health and Fitness.”

It won’t just be those in Mortuary Affairs working within H2F. Those members of the batallion that work special events and escorts will also address all five domains. They may not be in the same circumstances, but they face their own unique pressure and stress.

“Their tempo is so high. They’re constantly working, and their mission is to share the Army experience to the majority. They have to be the best of the best, and they must present the best face to the world.”

H2F is a system that will impact the Army for generations to come. Posey is in a unique position because his role is as a direct solution to issues that many past members of the Armed Forces struggled with for decades. Beyond the soldier in service, that member’s loved ones could potentially prosper.

“We recruit the soldier, we retain the family,” said Posey. “If we can empower the soldier in service, then they will have greater skills and be better integrated into society for themselves and their families. Investing into people like that is the right thing to do.”

Spencer Posey is personally making a profound difference, and he hopes that younger Americans will see that joining the military will be a choice that not only serves their country, but themselves for the rest of their lives. Outside of H2F, Posey shared that the Army is investing into certifications and education as well.

“They can have that institution and infrastructure invest into them,” he said. “Whether they step out of uniform or continue service, they have those resume builders. There are many ways that young people can serve their country in the military in non-combat roles. They will be put in positions so that they can excel.”

Follow Spencer Posey on LinkedIn. You can see more information on H2F on the U.S. Army website.