THE EFFECT OF AGING ON MILITARY READINESS IN A RETIRED ELITE SOLDIER - A CASE STUDY
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn 2020, the Department of Defense proposed an increase in the current limit of recruiting only 1000 retired military soldiers in the case of a national emergency. This case study was established to begin analyzing the reasonableness of this request. The participant was one 44-year-old male retired elite soldier who was a previous participant in a 2006 military readiness study whilst he was in active service. Through comparisons of the participant’s physiological responses to the Backpack Treadmill Running Protocol between active service and retirement, evaluation of a nine-week training regimen, and blood processing, the proposal was evaluated. Specific analyses of interest were respiratory gas measures, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, blood lactate, and catecholamine responses to exercise. Important results from this study indicate that a higher VO2 is seen at every stage in the protocol and that the Blood Lactate Threshold is seen to be reached significantly earlier in the protocol when compared to the participant in an active service state. These findings support the hypothesis that aging and retirement negatively impact military readiness. However, due to a successful progression in physical fitness seen associated with a training regimen, it can be reasoned that a retired military soldier could be reconditioned to achieve military readiness status; however further investigation is necessary to confirm this.