A comparison of injuries, limited-duty days, and injury risk factors in infantry, artillery, construction engineers, and special forces soldiers

Mil Med. 2009 Jul;174(7):702-8. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-02-2008.


Objectives: We compared injuries/risk factors in infantry soldiers (I), construction engineers (CE), combat artillery (CA), and Special Forces (SF) during their operational and fitness activities.

Methods: Anthropometrics, ethnicity, and fitness data were collected before review of medical records.

Results: Injury rates for I, CE, and CA were 4.0, 7.2, and 5.5 injuries/100 soldier-months, respectively; over 70% of them resulted from overuse. SF soldiers had an injury rate of 3.5 injuries/100 soldier-months, 50% of them reported as traumatic. Average limited-duty days (LDDs) were threefold higher in SF. Smoking, BMI > or =25, and APFT run time for 3.2 km >14 minutes were risk factors in I. Caucasian ethnicity, height <170.2 cm, weight > or =90 kg, and BMI > or =25 were risk factors in CE and CA. Age >27 years old was a risk factor in SF.

Conclusions: Greater emphasis should be placed on risk factor identification and testing strategies to reduce injuries among SF and other troops.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Motor Activity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*