Development of the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) for Combat Arms Soldiers
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Natick
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The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine USARIEM was tasked by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command TRADOC to develop criterion-based physical requirements for entry into the 7 physically demanding combat MOSs. Researchers from USARIEM completed 3 studies to develop a valid, safe, and legally defensible physical performance battery to predict a Soldiers ability to serve in each MOS. Data from 877 complete datasets were used in the development of three courses of action for gender neutral Occupational Physical Aptitude Tests OPATs Test Battery 1 medicine ball put, squat lift, beep test, standing long jump, arm ergometer Test Battery 2 medicine ball put, squat lift, beep test, standing long jump Test Battery 3 standing long jump, 1-minute push-ups, 1-minute sit-ups, 300m sprint, Illinois agility test. Test Batteries 1 and 2 have adequate and similar predictive power, while that of Test Battery 3 has a much lower predictive power. Factoring in the cost, equipment, and time, USRIEMs recommendation would be to implement Test Battery 2.