College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Military Readiness: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Marksmanship and Visual Acuity

ISBN or ISSN

1735-1537

Publication Title

Military Medicine

Volume

174

Issue

4

Date of original Performance / Presentation

April 2009

Publication Date / Copyright Date

4-1-2009

First Page

398

Last Page

402

Abstract

The United States military relies on visual acuity standards to assess enlistment induction and military occupational specialty eligibility, as well as to monitor soldiers' combat vision readiness. However, these vision standards are not evidence based and may not accurately reflect appropriate standards for military readiness or reflect a correlation between visual acuity and occupational performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between visual acuity and marksmanship performance using a single blind trial with the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000. Marksmanship performance was evaluated in 28 subjects under simulated day and night conditions with habitual spectacle prescription and contact lenses that created visual blur. Panel Poisson regression using an independent correlation structure revealed significant differences (p < 0.001) as visual acuity decreased from 20/25 to 20/50. We conclude that marksmanship performance decreases as visual acuity decreases. We believe that this relationship supports the use of a visual acuity requirement.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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