Harrison Johnson is a recently separated, 10-year United States Army Infantryman. He is the Director of Operations and Development for the FitOps Foundation and a mental health advocate for Veterans.
Harrison is no stranger to the challenges veterans face when they return from service. At a very young age he had his first experience with suicide, sadly with his grandfather, a Vietnam veteran. Fast forward over 10 years and once again Harrison witnessed the struggle his fellow soldiers faced transitioning, with 5 teammates, and his Sergeant Major and mentor, committing suicide during his time in service.
It was at this time Harrison knew he had to do something to combat the epidemic of veteran suicide and find a way to give hope and purpose to people in uniform. This is when he discovered FitOps Foundation. Over the last 2 years at FitOps, and during his time in service, Harrison discovered the reason for veterans’ struggle returning to civilian life is the lack of support through the transition process. He believes transition starts when you raise your right hand and are sworn into service, not when you decide to leave. Harrison believes that wearing the uniform creates a continuous struggle of identity between the Soldier version of one’s self and the civilian version. This conflict will continue through a veteran’s entire life and is the root cause of transition struggle. He witnessed and experienced firsthand the debilitating fear when a veteran realizes the skills, language and value they held and learned in service don’t translate to the real world.
Harrison has now made it his mission, through his work at the FitOps Foundation, to help veterans find new purpose through a meaningful career in the health and fitness industry, and provide them with the resources, tools and community to find success in business and in life.
Harrison spent nearly 2 years of his service in combat zones overseas and is the recipient of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, 8 Army Commendation Medals and is a Distinguished Member of the 187th Infantry Regiment. His time in the Army was spent in Alaska, Kentucky and finally in Missouri as a Drill Sergeant, training the Army’s next generation of Soldiers.
Harrison lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas now with his wife and two young sons, working to build and develop FitOps Foundation’s permanent training facility and the future of the program in the great State of Arkansas and nationwide.