High Rates of Injury Identified in Army MP Training

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD – A new study is the first to identify injury rates and identify specific factors increasing injury risk during military police (MP) training in the Army.

The study, published recently in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, notes that Army MP training is a 19-week course designed to introduce new recruits to basic soldiering skills, Army values and lifestyle, and law enforcement skills and knowledge. Researchers set out to quantify injury risk factors in MP training.1

At the start of the training period, 2,391 MP recruits – 1,838 male and 553 female – were administered a questionnaire containing items on date of birth, height, weight, tobacco use, prior physical activity, injury history and menstrual history. Electronic medical records were used to document injuries during training, while the training units themselves data on student graduation and attrition.

Researchers found that 94.3% of the men and 83.7% of the women successfully graduated from the training.

Injuries were common, however, especially among female MP recruits. In fact, 34.2% of the men and 66.7% of the women suffered an injury, with the risk ratio of women to men equalling 1.95.

Recruits were at higher injury risk if they reported that they were older, had smoked in the past or had performed less frequent exercise or sports prior to MP training.

Higher injury risk was higher for men who reported a prior injury. Women at higher risk of injury had reported missing at least six menstrual cycles in the last year or had previously been pregnant.

1. Knapik JJ, Graham B, Cobbs J, Thompson D, Steelman R, Jones BH. A prospective investigation of injury incidence and injury risk factors among Army recruits in military police training. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013 Jan 17;14(1):32. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23327563.

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