The impact of lengthened Australian Army recruit training course on recruit injuries
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Background: An Army recruit is required to complete a variety of strenuous physical activities during their training. These activities have the potential to cause a range of injuries. Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine if the length of a recruit-training program influenced injury rates. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from 267 Australian Regular Army recruits that attended basic recruit training, completing either the 80-day Australian Recruit Course (ARC) or the 100-day Australian Soldier Course (ASC). Injury prevalence and injury incidence were determined following analysis of reported injury data (Incident report form AC 563). Results: Injury prevalence for ASC recruits was 17.8% and for ARC recruits 13.9%. Injury incidence for the ASC and ARC were 17.8 injuries/100 soldiers/100 days and 17.4 injuries/100 soldiers/100 days respectively. The majority of injuries for both courses were sprains and strains. Discussion: ASC had a notably higher prevalence of injuries compared to ARC. However when considered against cohort size and exposure to training, both courses had similar injury incidence rates. This study found much lower prevalence and incidence rates than those reported in previous literature on basic recruit training. Injury types were however consistent with previous literature. Conclusions: While potentially appearing to increase reported injuries, longer tactical recruit training programs may not influence the incidence of injuries when cohort size and length of training are considered. The types of injuries suffered by Australian Army recruits undergoing training are commensurate with those of foreign defence services.
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