What Does It Take To Be a Recon Marine? New Research Aggregates Predictors of Failure and Success

US Marine

Reconnaissance Marine training is challenging, with a high dropout rate. Researchers are studying predictors of success and failure in collaboration with the USC Center for Body Computing and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory West.

Reconnaissance Marine training is deliberately difficult.  About 25-40% of entering services members voluntarily withdraw within the first month. While some characteristics of attrition have been identified, there is still a lack of understanding related to an individual’s profile that is more apt to complete Recon training. Researchers from the USC Center for Body Computing and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory West set out to fill those gaps and joined efforts in analyzing data to determine predictors of failure and success.

In order to obtain a more complete understanding and to define a profile of a trainee likely to be successful entering Reconnaissance training, the team analyzed data related to prior life experience, self-identified personality characteristics and motivations, athletic experience, military recruitment history, and other military experience, as well as physical performance metrics obtained within the Reconnaissance Training Company training itself.

“We sought to identify predictors of failure and success as part of our dedication to performing the foundational research that demonstrates benefit from health and human performance solutions for the military,” states Dr. Leslie Saxon, Executive Director and Founder, for the USC Center for Body Computing. “This study has significant implications for military recruitment and training, and we hope that it will advance novel ways to recruit and retain for the U.S. Military.”

Retrospective survey data was analyzed from 3,438 trainees within the Reconnaissance Training Company. Surveys were related to trainees’ military recruitment history and other military experience, prior life experience, athletic experience, self-identified personality characteristics and motivations, and reasons for voluntary withdrawal if applicable, as well as physical performance metrics. Various demographic factors, self-reported hobbies, motivations, aquatic experience, and physical performance were associated with success in Recon Marine training courses.

The results will be announced this Friday, October 22, 2021 at the 15th Annual Virtual Body Computing Conference. This year’s event will explore how to push the limits of human potential by leveraging the human in their own health outcomes. For more information, visit https://www.uscbodycomputing.org/bcc15-agenda.

About the USC Center for Body Computing

The USC Center for Body Computing (CBC) is a digital health research and innovation center that is creating technology-driven health care solutions for a modern age. Collaborating with inventors, strategists, designers, investors and visionaries from health care, entertainment and technology, the CBC serves as a national leader on digital health and wearable technology. One of the nation’s first university-based centers to focus on digital health solutions, the CBC was founded in 2006 at the Keck School of Medicine of USC by Leslie Saxon, a USC-trained cardiologist and internationally renowned digital health expert.

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