PREDICTORS OF SUCCESS AT INFANTRY TRAINING BATTALION USING COUNTERMOVEMENT JUMP METRICS
Pennington, Cody E.
Heissel, Jennifer A.
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The enlisted infantry community, all of whom acquire their training at Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), comprises approximately 15% of the Marine Corps. It is therefore concerning when, on average, 12.9% of the Marines who attend ITB fail to graduate. The majority are dropped from ITB training for four reasons: MOS Specific Physical Standards (MSPS) assessment failures, academic failure, medical injuries, and administrative issues. Of the four reasons, MSPS accounts for the majority of the failures (35.7%), followed by Academics (34.39%), Medical (23.35%), and the remainder (6.47%) for Administrative. These statistics warrant investigation to determine what metrics can be utilized to mitigate failures. In 2019, ITB introduced a new curriculum that includes a newly developed MOS Specific Physical Standards (MSPS) assessment and force platforms to measure human kinetics and biomechanics through a Countermovement Jump (CMJ) test. Data from multiple sources applied to econometric and machine learning models revealed that cognitive ability, demographics, physical performance, and CMJ performance are significant predictors of success at ITB. The most significant predictor turns out to be an interaction of cognitive ability and CMJ, indicating the complementarity of “brain and brawn” in determining success at ITB. Continued CMJ data collection and analysis could provide valuable insights into prediction-based schoolhouse training models.
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