Women can serve in all military occupational specialties (MOS); however, musculoskeletal and physiological characteristics that predict successful completion of ground combat MOS schools by female Marines are unknown. Objectives To determine which demographic, musculoskeletal, and physiological characteristics predict graduation from infantry and vehicle ground combat MOS schools in female Marines. Design Prospective cohort study. Methods Prior to MOS school, the following were assessed in 62 female Marines (22.0 ± 3.0 yrs, 163.9 ± 5.8 cm, 63.4 ± 7.2 kg): isokinetic shoulder, trunk, and knee and isometric ankle strength; body composition; anaerobic power (AP)/capacity (AC); maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max); and field-based fitness tests (broad jump, medicine ball throw, pro-agility). Both absolute and normalized (%body mass: %BM) values were utilized for strength, AP, AC, and VO2max. Select tests from each Marine's most recent Physical Fitness Test (PFT: abdominal crunches, 3-mile run time) and Combat Fitness Test (CFT: Maneuver Under Fire, Movement to Contact) were recorded. Participants were classified as graduated (N = 46) or did not graduate (N = 16). Simple logistic regression was performed to determine predictors of MOS school graduation. Statistical significance was set a priori at α = 0.05. Results Absolute and normalized ankle inversion and eversion strength, normalized anaerobic capacity, absolute and normalized VO2max, right pro-agility, and PFT 3-mile run time significantly predicted MOS school graduation (p < 0.05). Conclusions Greater ankle strength, better agility, and greater anaerobic and aerobic capacity are important for successful completion of ground combat MOS school in female Marines. Prior to entering ground combat MOS school, it is recommended that female Marines should train to optimize these mobility-centric characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine