Load carriage and the female soldier



Publication Details

Orr, R. M., Johnston, V., Coyle, J. & Pope, R. (2011). Load carriage and the female soldier. Journal of Military and Veterans Health, 19 (3), 25-34.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Australasian Military Medicine Association


There are obvious differences between men and women, differences which are taken into consideration when training athletes. Numerous texts discuss the gender specific requirements of the female athlete, from coaching styles1 and training methods1, to dealing with social pressures2 and the impact of factors that selectively affect the female athlete3,4. On this basis, when it comes to athletic endeavours, the specific requirements of the female athlete are well considered. Unfortunately, when it comes to the female soldier and load carriage, there is a notable lack of such dedicated research literature. While several load carriage studies have included female soldiers as participants or even had female participants as their only subjects5-12, load carriage research traditionally fails to consider the lessons learned from female athletes and apply them to the female soldier undertaking heavy load carriage tasks.

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