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Mil Med. 2013 Oct;178(10):1085-101. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00081.

Creation of a criterion-referenced Military Optimal Performance Challenge.

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  • 1Department of Physical Education, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996.



To compare an empirical, Army doctrine-based (endurance, strength, mobility, military relevant tasks), criterion-referenced, body mass (BM) unbiased Military Optimal Performance Challenge (MOPC) to the Army's Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and thus assisting commanders to determine military readiness.


Militarily-relevant physical assessments were combined to create a composite MOPC score. The MOPC and APFT were administered to 20 male, military subjects during a 2-week period. Data collection included 3-Mile Run, Mobility Test, Upper/Lower Body Strength/Endurance, Simulated Casualty Evacuation Test. The APFT was administered through Army guidelines before MOPC data collection.


The APFT was influenced by BM, lean body mass (LBM) (r = -0.44; r(2) = 0.20; p = 0.04), whereas MOPC was less impacted (r = 0.21; r(2) = 0.04; p = 0.32). Eight subjects, as viewed by %APFT, are "fit for duty" (80.6%); however, all eight subjects' mean score as %MOPC was <50%.


The MOPC offers a robust approach to military readiness and is free of the confounding influence of BM. The MOPC is a unique assessment requiring a multitude of abilities to garner success and may assist in training for functional combat performance skills demanding high work capacities.

Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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