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Mil Med. 2009 Apr;174(4):382-91.

Predictors of one-year attrition in female Marine Corps recruits.

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Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 50 Beale Street, Suite 1300, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.



The study seeks to identify demographic and health-related predictors of attrition among female Marine Corps recruits.


Data are from a longitudinal study of female recruits entering the Marine Corps between June 1999 and June 2000 (N = 2,157). Measures come from tracking data and a self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaire.


During recruit training (RT) 11.2% of recruits were discharged. Among RT graduates 6.6% were discharged during the following year. The cumulative attrition rate was 17.1%. No prior history of regular exercise was the only consistent predictor of discharge. Multivariate analysis also identified unsafe sex, age, race/ethnicity, and recruiting status (for active duty vs. reserve) as significant predictors of cumulative attrition.


One-year attrition among female Marines may be reduced by more extensively screening applicants who report risk-taking behavior. Such screening can exclude applicants who are unlikely to succeed and identify others who may need additional support to complete their tour of duty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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