United States University-Based Officer Training and Its Influence on Physical Assessment Test Performance

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMJ Military Health


Introduction: Cadets participating in Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) at US universities undergo both Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) evaluations prior to commissioning. The current study examined the relationship between ROTC physical training (PT) attendance and performance in the APFT and OPAT, and characterised physical activity of cadets outside of PT. Methods: Twenty-six cadets’ (21 males; age=20.81±2.48 years; height=171.16±8.62 cm; body mass=75.49±13.17 kg; body mass index=25.68±3.37 kg/m2) PT attendance, and diagnostic (week 1) and record (week 13) OPAT and APFT scores were documented. Paired samples t-tests evaluated differences in APFT and OPAT scores between the diagnostic and record tests. Pearson correlations were utilised to determine if a relationship existed between PT attendance and test performance. Participating cadets also completed monthly self-reported physical activity questionnaire (September, October, November); findings were reported using descriptive statistics. Results: Cadets attended 87% of PT sessions between OPAT administrations and 85% between APFT administrations. Cadets significantly improved the following test components: standing long jump (p=0.034), seated power throw (p=0.029), shuttle run (p=0.005), sit-ups (p=0.003) and 2-mile run (p=0.045). A significant, positive correlation was found between PT attendance and APFT sit-ups improvements (r=0.473, p=0.015). Cadets’ frequently reported additional physical activity days per week (range: 2.8–3.1 aerobic, 3.2–3.8 strength/power, 2.9–3.2 core strength/endurance).


Exercise Science



UNLV article access

Search your library