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New Army Fitness Program is reducing injuries during basic training

In the 10 months since the Army implemented an occupational fitness test for potential recruits, injury and drop-out rates are down at basic training, officials said.

The Occupational Physical Assessment Test has four events, and a soldier’s score determines which jobs he or she is qualified for. The idea behind it is that if soldiers are tested and categorized based on their Army-related physical abilities before basic training, they are less at risk of getting hurt once they’ve enlisted.

“We’re already seeing significant improvement, significant reductions in injuries in initial entry training, which we would expect to translate out into [operational units],” Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg, the top enlisted soldier at the Center for Initial Military Training, said during the annual AUSA meeting in Washington, D.C.

Those reductions in injuries translate into more soldiers who not only make it through basic, but who make it through on their first try, saving the time and money it takes to rehabilitate and recycle them.

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