Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award

8-2014

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Mike W. Ramsey

Committee Members

Kimitake Sato, Mike H. Stone, Timothy Sell

Abstract

Identification and development of physical characteristics that lead to efficient performance of military skills or tasks has been a consistently difficult task for the United States military for decades. The literature suggests certain physical characteristics may be more important, although this information is conflicting. Furthermore, the military physical fitness training program that is intended to prepare soldiers for combat is commonly evaluated with the Army Physical Fitness Test (PFT), a test that is more suited for evaluating health and wellness rather than task-specific fitness. All of this testing and training of soldiers focuses on the individual soldiers and their abilities although military skills or tasks are seldom if ever conducted independently. The first purpose of this dissertation was to identify relationships between the PFT, anthropometrics, measures of strength, and power. The second purpose was to identify the team characteristics that influence team performance during the Sandhurst Competition (a 2-day simulated military operation). Strong correlations were found between PFT events and weak correlations were found between PFT measures and evaluations of strength and power. The strong correlations between PFT events could indicate that only one event may be necessary to determine health and wellness. The weak correlations between events of the PFT and measures of strength and power suggest the PFT is not an assessment of strength and power based on the strength and power measures employed in the current study. The evaluation of team characteristics indicated that age (possibly experience) had the largest effect on Sandhurst Competition performance. Further analysis of each event supported the contention that age influences performance but also identified specific aerobic, anaerobic, and anthropometric variables that influenced performance on particular events. The data from this dissertation suggests that teams competing in the Sandhurst Competition should attempt to recruit team members with more experience, very high run scores, and high vertical jump heights.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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