active-duty enlisted personnel through the first tour of duty. Whenever possible, trends in the youth population were examined by race and gender. This decision was guided by the sponsor’s interest in recruiting and retention of the first-term enlisted force. The DoD Office of Accession Policy deals primarily with developing recruiting guidelines for selecting these individuals. Individuals attending the military academies or participating in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Reserve, and National Guard units are outside the sponsor’s purview. The military academies and ROTC attract high school students who are interested in obtaining a college education and joining the officer corps.

The second decision regarding scope was to confine the committee’s examination of standards to the military’s current policy that all enlistees should be deployable—that is, ready for combat. Even though there is a wide variety of jobs in the military that require different skills, different levels of physical conditioning, and different types of medical and mental health, we did not think that it was within our scope or expertise to render an opinion as to whether or not the military should shift from a policy that all enlistees should be deployable to a policy that enlistees should be matched to particular jobs, some not requiring exposure to combat.

The third decision was to include a consideration of modifying basic training in ways that might reduce injury without reducing resulting fitness. The high level of injury in women during basic training was a particular concern. Developing physical fitness programs is clearly within the committee’s expertise, and we decided that physical fitness screening and training should be considered in combination.

Key Variables

The committee’s charge calls for a critical examination of physical, medical, and mental health issues. In addition, we decided to include drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and related behavioral issues. With regard to selecting medical standards for consideration, the committee was guided by several factors: (1) the frequency of occurrence of various disqualifying conditions in the youth population and in the population of applicants; (2) the extent to which disqualification for a condition could be waived by one of the Services; (3) the existence of military research regarding the effect of the condition on the first-term enlisted force by the Accessions Medical Standards Analysis and Research Activity (AMSARA), the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM), and the U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command (USMEPCOM); (4) the existence of research and medical advances in the civilian sector that should be evaluated; and (5) standard

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement