Risk Factors for Medical Discharge From United States Army Basic Combat Training


This paper discusses the implication for the United States Army when recruits are medically discharged during basic combat training.


Past studies indicated that overall Basic Combat Training (BCT) attrition (discharge) was associated with various risk factors. BCT has changed considerably since many of these studies were conducted. This study examined Soldiers medically attrited from BCT. Potential attrition risk factor data on recruits ( n = 4,005) were collected from medical records, BCT unit records, and questionnaires. Attrition data from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, showed 203 medical discharges. Cox regression (univariate and multivariate) obtained hazard ratios and 95% confi dence intervals for attrition risk factors. Higher attrition risk was associated with female gender. Higher attrition risk for men was associated with cigarette smoking, injury during BCT, and less exercise before BCT. Higher attrition risk for both genders was associated with failure on the initial 2-mile run test and separated or divorced marital status. Attrition risk factors found in this study were similar to those previously identifi ed despite changes in BCT.

Full Reference

David I. Swedler, Joseph J. Knapik, Kelly W. Williams, Tyson L. Grier, Bruce H. Jones, 2011, MILITARY MEDICINE, Risk Factors for Medical Discharge From United States Army Basic Combat Training, 176, 10, 1104-1110