The Army reserve soldier is an integral part of overall Army capability and functioning. Although only becoming full-time when participating in training exercises or when called on for operations, these personnel are generally expected to perform at a level commensurate with full-time soldiers of the same rank and trade. Due to their transitions between civilian and military employments, they are typically exposed to less chronic military physical conditioning than their full-time counterparts. This reduced chronic conditioning, but requirement to perform the same tasks at the same level as full-time soldiers, may leave the reserve soldier at a higher risk of injury when performing military tasks. While this hypothesis was supported by the Defence Health Status Report (2000), the data used to affirm the differences in injury rates between these two populations was limited in both breadth and depth, was not specific to the Australian Army, and is now quite dated. On this basis, the aims of this program of research were to: profile injuries in Army Reserve (ARES) personnel; compare this profile with that of the Australian Regular Army (ARA) personnel from the same time period; and further investigate the patterns, sources and mechanisms of injuries in this Army Reserve population.
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