Diverse predictors of early attrition in an elite Marine training school

Date: Dec 2, 2021
Category: Publication


Reconnaissance Marine training is deliberately difficult, to assure that graduates have the capabilities required to function successfully in the high-risk military occupational specialty. The majority of training attrition is due to voluntary withdrawal and previous research has identified certain predictive factors such as demographics, mental status, and physical performance. While some characteristics of training attrition have been identified, there is still a lack of understanding related to an individual’s profile that is more apt to complete Recon training. Retrospective survey data was analyzed from 3,438 trainees within the Reconnaissance Training Company. Surveys were related to trainees’ military recruitment history and other military experience, prior life experience, athletic experience, self-identified personality characteristics and motivations, and reasons for voluntary withdrawal if applicable, as well as physical performance metrics. Various demographic factors, self-reported hobbies, motivations, aquatic experience, and physical performance were associated with success in Recon Marine training courses. Subjects who voluntarily withdrew from training most commonly cited mental stress and aquatic rigor as the reason and less commonly cited reasons were physical and family reasons. These results could potentially increase training success, but more research is needed to understand the relationships between the observed trainee characteristics and success in elite warfighter training.

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