The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Venerina Johnston, Julia Coyle

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Military soldiers are required to carry loads as part of their occupation. These loads have led to
injuries and even mortalities on the battlefield (Orr et al., 2011). Recent evidence suggests that
the absolute loads carried by Australian Army soldiers are increasing (On* et a!., 2010). The
intent of this study was to investigate the loads can ied by Australian Regular Army soldiers on
operations and the contexts in which these loads are carried.
METHODS
Load carriage data were collected through an online questionnaire from experienced Australian
Army soldiers representing Combat Arms, Combat Support Amis and Combat Service Support
Corps. Captured survey data were triangulated against open-source operational information.
Ethical approval was granted by the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics and University
of Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committees.
RESULTS
A total of 301 respondent reports were collected. Grouped data revealed soldiers reportedly
carrying a mean load of 47.7 kg or 56% of respondents' mean body weight. The differences in
operational loads, both absolute and relative, carried between coips were significant with Combat
Anns Corps carrying heavier loads than Combat Service Support Coips. Female soldiers (11% of
responses) reported carrying significantly lighter absolute loads {M=26A kg) than their male
counterparts (M=39.0 kg) although no significant differences were found in relative loading
(M=43% BW, M=47% respectively). The lightest and heaviest 20% of male respondents carried
similar absolute loads resulting in a difference in relative loads that approached significance.
Coips reported performing different tasks while carrying loads. These different tasks were
associated with different loads.
CONCLUSIONS
The loads carried by Australian Army soldiers on operations varies between corps as do the
contexts in which these loads are carried. While some individual differences (gender and body
weight) in load carriage (absolute or relative) requirements may exist, these findings highlight the
potential benefits of task and trade specific physical employment standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages55-56
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2012
Event1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 201228 Nov 2012
Conference number: 1st

Conference

Conference1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards
CountryAustralia
CityCanberra
Period27/11/1228/11/12

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Orr, R. M., Pope, R. R., Johnston, V., & Coyle, J. (2012). The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier. 55-56. Abstract from 1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards, Canberra, Australia.
Orr, Rob Marc ; Pope, Rodney R ; Johnston, Venerina ; Coyle, Julia. / The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier. Abstract from 1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards, Canberra, Australia.2 p.
@conference{1cb03bd860834e21b2335e9edb1f6fc6,
title = "The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier",
abstract = "Military soldiers are required to carry loads as part of their occupation. These loads have led toinjuries and even mortalities on the battlefield (Orr et al., 2011). Recent evidence suggests thatthe absolute loads carried by Australian Army soldiers are increasing (On* et a!., 2010). Theintent of this study was to investigate the loads can ied by Australian Regular Army soldiers onoperations and the contexts in which these loads are carried.METHODSLoad carriage data were collected through an online questionnaire from experienced AustralianArmy soldiers representing Combat Arms, Combat Support Amis and Combat Service SupportCorps. Captured survey data were triangulated against open-source operational information.Ethical approval was granted by the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics and Universityof Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committees.RESULTSA total of 301 respondent reports were collected. Grouped data revealed soldiers reportedlycarrying a mean load of 47.7 kg or 56{\%} of respondents' mean body weight. The differences inoperational loads, both absolute and relative, carried between coips were significant with CombatAnns Corps carrying heavier loads than Combat Service Support Coips. Female soldiers (11{\%} ofresponses) reported carrying significantly lighter absolute loads {M=26A kg) than their malecounterparts (M=39.0 kg) although no significant differences were found in relative loading(M=43{\%} BW, M=47{\%} respectively). The lightest and heaviest 20{\%} of male respondents carriedsimilar absolute loads resulting in a difference in relative loads that approached significance.Coips reported performing different tasks while carrying loads. These different tasks wereassociated with different loads.CONCLUSIONSThe loads carried by Australian Army soldiers on operations varies between corps as do thecontexts in which these loads are carried. While some individual differences (gender and bodyweight) in load carriage (absolute or relative) requirements may exist, these findings highlight thepotential benefits of task and trade specific physical employment standards.",
author = "Orr, {Rob Marc} and Pope, {Rodney R} and Venerina Johnston and Julia Coyle",
year = "2012",
month = "11",
day = "27",
language = "English",
pages = "55--56",
note = "1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards ; Conference date: 27-11-2012 Through 28-11-2012",

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Orr, RM, Pope, RR, Johnston, V & Coyle, J 2012, 'The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier' 1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards, Canberra, Australia, 27/11/12 - 28/11/12, pp. 55-56.

The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier. / Orr, Rob Marc; Pope, Rodney R; Johnston, Venerina; Coyle, Julia.

2012. 55-56 Abstract from 1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards, Canberra, Australia.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier

AU - Orr, Rob Marc

AU - Pope, Rodney R

AU - Johnston, Venerina

AU - Coyle, Julia

PY - 2012/11/27

Y1 - 2012/11/27

N2 - Military soldiers are required to carry loads as part of their occupation. These loads have led toinjuries and even mortalities on the battlefield (Orr et al., 2011). Recent evidence suggests thatthe absolute loads carried by Australian Army soldiers are increasing (On* et a!., 2010). Theintent of this study was to investigate the loads can ied by Australian Regular Army soldiers onoperations and the contexts in which these loads are carried.METHODSLoad carriage data were collected through an online questionnaire from experienced AustralianArmy soldiers representing Combat Arms, Combat Support Amis and Combat Service SupportCorps. Captured survey data were triangulated against open-source operational information.Ethical approval was granted by the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics and Universityof Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committees.RESULTSA total of 301 respondent reports were collected. Grouped data revealed soldiers reportedlycarrying a mean load of 47.7 kg or 56% of respondents' mean body weight. The differences inoperational loads, both absolute and relative, carried between coips were significant with CombatAnns Corps carrying heavier loads than Combat Service Support Coips. Female soldiers (11% ofresponses) reported carrying significantly lighter absolute loads {M=26A kg) than their malecounterparts (M=39.0 kg) although no significant differences were found in relative loading(M=43% BW, M=47% respectively). The lightest and heaviest 20% of male respondents carriedsimilar absolute loads resulting in a difference in relative loads that approached significance.Coips reported performing different tasks while carrying loads. These different tasks wereassociated with different loads.CONCLUSIONSThe loads carried by Australian Army soldiers on operations varies between corps as do thecontexts in which these loads are carried. While some individual differences (gender and bodyweight) in load carriage (absolute or relative) requirements may exist, these findings highlight thepotential benefits of task and trade specific physical employment standards.

AB - Military soldiers are required to carry loads as part of their occupation. These loads have led toinjuries and even mortalities on the battlefield (Orr et al., 2011). Recent evidence suggests thatthe absolute loads carried by Australian Army soldiers are increasing (On* et a!., 2010). Theintent of this study was to investigate the loads can ied by Australian Regular Army soldiers onoperations and the contexts in which these loads are carried.METHODSLoad carriage data were collected through an online questionnaire from experienced AustralianArmy soldiers representing Combat Arms, Combat Support Amis and Combat Service SupportCorps. Captured survey data were triangulated against open-source operational information.Ethical approval was granted by the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics and Universityof Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committees.RESULTSA total of 301 respondent reports were collected. Grouped data revealed soldiers reportedlycarrying a mean load of 47.7 kg or 56% of respondents' mean body weight. The differences inoperational loads, both absolute and relative, carried between coips were significant with CombatAnns Corps carrying heavier loads than Combat Service Support Coips. Female soldiers (11% ofresponses) reported carrying significantly lighter absolute loads {M=26A kg) than their malecounterparts (M=39.0 kg) although no significant differences were found in relative loading(M=43% BW, M=47% respectively). The lightest and heaviest 20% of male respondents carriedsimilar absolute loads resulting in a difference in relative loads that approached significance.Coips reported performing different tasks while carrying loads. These different tasks wereassociated with different loads.CONCLUSIONSThe loads carried by Australian Army soldiers on operations varies between corps as do thecontexts in which these loads are carried. While some individual differences (gender and bodyweight) in load carriage (absolute or relative) requirements may exist, these findings highlight thepotential benefits of task and trade specific physical employment standards.

M3 - Abstract

SP - 55

EP - 56

ER -

Orr RM, Pope RR, Johnston V, Coyle J. The operational load carriage context of the Australian army soldier. 2012. Abstract from 1st Australian Conference on Physiological and Physical Employment Standards, Canberra, Australia.