resulting from injury and illness. Although of considerable interest, measuring posttraining job performance is problematic because it is difficult to obtain valid and reliable measures of individual performance.
Military and civilian research efforts have identified several risk factors associated with injury and attrition. These factors have been divided into three categories. The first includes characteristics of the individual and involves cognitive capabilities, attitudes, motivation, physical fitness, medical status, mental health, age, gender, and race. Each of the characteristics can have some impact on an enlistee’s success. The second factor is the physical environment and the job that the individual will be asked to perform. It includes task variables, such as fully loaded marching, lifting, jumping, shooting, and so forth. The third factor is the psychosocial character of the work environment and the attending mental and emotional stressors. Each factor makes an important contribution; however, the interactions among them must also be considered when developing selection standards and fitness training programs for the enlisted force. The committee used these factors and their interactions as a framework for its analysis.
The committee gathered information on the enlistment process and existing standards from a series of briefings provided by representatives form the U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command, the U.S. Army Accession Command, and the U.S. Navy Service Training Command. Briefings on research related to the development of screening standards and the relationship among various physical fitness, medical, and mental health conditions and injury and attrition were provided by representatives from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), USACHPPM, USARIEM, and AMSARA. Some of this material was provided at committee meetings and some at the committee-designed workshop held in January 2005. Other topics presented at the workshop include (1) research on standard setting and testing in the civilian sector, (2) a cost-benefit framework for examining the implications of changes in enlistment standards, and (3) reasons for attrition through various stages in the first term of service based on data from the Army Longitudinal Study using the 1999 cohort. All individuals providing information to the committee are listed in Appendix C.