Prevalence and predictors of discharge in United States Air Force Basic Military Training

G. Wayne Talcott, C. Keith Haddock, Robert C. Klesges, Harry Lando, Edna Fiedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current investigation was to determine the prospective predictors of discharge in a population of individuals entering U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT). Subjects were 32,144 consecutive individuals entering Air Force BMT. In the first week, subjects filled out a comprehensive lifestyle and behavioral assessment. Over time, a total of 1,999 subjects (6.2%) dropped out of BMT for a variety of reasons, the most common being medical (33.6%), psychiatric (21.3%), legal (20%), and poor performance (13.1%). Overall, discharges by gender were equal, but the reasons for discharge varied by gender. Ethnicity predicted for medical, psychiatric, and legal discharge. Results suggest that women and ethnic minorities are not biased in favor of discharge and that both lifestyle and psychosocial variables are consistent predictors of discharge. Future research could potentially yield other significant predictors of success versus discharge in the U.S. military.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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