The enlisted Marine Corps is largely a first-term force with active duty service losses ranging from 40-56% after initial enlistment over the last decade. Additionally, the Marines spend approximately $25,000 to recruit and train an active duty enlistee, with a 12% attrition rate after one year.
A military recruit assessment program was called for by a past Presidential Review Directive, Institute of Medicine reports, and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board to collect baseline health data for pre-existing health risks, creating a foundation for longitudinal surveillance. The purpose was to increase understanding of how service-related exposures affect health and develop early intervention and prevention programs to protect health and readiness.
To answer this need, the Recruit Assessment Program (RAP) was developed by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC). The RAP was implemented in June 2001 and by January 2017 approximately 200,000 male recruits completed the RAP survey at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego.
Baseline health data collected prior to deployments enables military health researchers to better understand how deployments and other military experiences affect health and how pre-service risk factors are associated with health outcomes that develop during or after military service.
This information might identify Marines who could benefit from targeted, supportive interventions to reduce attrition, potentially saving millions of training dollars annually.
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
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