Swim and Survival at Sea training: does it meet the Navy's needs?
Allinder, Grace Elizabeth
Crawford, Alice M.
Mehay, Stephen L.
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By virtue of operating in a water environment, the average sailor is exposed to the potential threat of falling or being forced overboard. The Navy requires its sailors to pass a minimum fourth class swim test only at the initial accession points with no follow-on testing or training required. Yet, the MILPERSMAN describes a fourth class swimmer as "a swimmer who needs help". This thesis examined the Navy's swim qualification program to determine the adequacy and consistency of the current training with respect to the Navy's requirements. The approach examined the magnitude of the problem as demonstrated by drowning statistics of Naval personnel and attrition of recruits from bootcamp due to failure to swim qualify. This was followed by an analysis of the current program focusing on program emphasis and implementation. The content of the training across programs, the guidance provided for the training, and the elements of other successful programs were evaluated. Finally, the opinions of experts and model swim and survival programs provided the focus for recommended changes in training policy and implementation.
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