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Mil Med. 2003 Jun;168(6):490-2.

Retention in service of recruits assigned to the army physical fitness test enhancement program in basic combat training.

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  • 1Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010, USA.

Abstract

Recruits are assigned to the Army Physical Fitness Test Enhancement Program (APFTEP) if they are unable to pass the final Army physical fitness test at the end of basic combat training (BCT). The U.S. Army Medical Command tasked the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine to examine the retention in service of individuals completing this program. To accomplish this tasking, the following data were obtained: a list of APFTEP recruits at Fort Jackson, South Carolina between January 1999 and June 2001; a list of BCT graduates from the Army Training Requirements and Resources System; and a comparison group of non-APFTEP recruits matched 3 to 1 on the basis of age, gender, Army entry date (+/- 30 days), BCT location, and active Army status from the Army Medical Surveillance Activity. We found that the proportion of recruits who successfully completed the APFTEP and graduated from BCT (85% of men, 80% of women) was lower than documented graduation rates for all recruits (93% of men, 87% of women). Retention in service after 1 year was also lower for APFTEP recruits than for non-APFTEP recruits among both men (74% vs. 92%, p < 0.01) and women (63% vs. 84%, p < 0.01). Despite the lower BCT graduation success and retention in service for APFTEP recruits, the program does assist in retaining soldiers who would otherwise be discharged for failing the Army physical fitness test. Thus, the program may be a useful tool for limiting attrition.

PMID:
12834143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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