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22 May 2004 - Updated December 2011

DEVELOPMENTAL OPTIMIZATION OF CANDIDATES PREPARING FOR SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

By Stephen M. Apatow
Operational Security: Humanitarian Intervention Initiative
Founder, Director of Research and Development
Humanitarian Resource Institute, Humanitarian University Consortium
Graduate Studies Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law

Telephone: 203-668-0282 
Email: s.m.apatow@H-II.org
Internet: www.H-II.org

Marines and nearly 400 poolees from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont gathered at Westover Air Reserve Base on May 1, for a day-long competition to determine who had the best poolees in the area. [1]

The commitment, dedication and effort demonstrated was extraordinary, as the event provided a reference point for the athletic proficiency of the participants. As observed in conventional sports programs, natural talent and previous participation in athletics, directly related to performance.  This scenario represents a standard progression relating to success in sports and Olympic development programs in the United States.

General analysis of the participants demonstrated significant potential that could be further enhanced by a structured program. Utilizing an Eastern Bloc Olympic development model, a selection process is used to locate children who have natural joint flexibility and body mechanics which are considered prerequisite for future progress in Olympic competition. In sports, such as gymnastics, those selected then enter into a development program which integrates classical choreography training as a foundation for the correct execution of technical sports specific movement. [2] Classical training is considered the most advanced movement mechanics training in the world, providing a foundation for the development of joint strength, postural alignment and precision control of the human frame in space.[3] In Eastern Bloc programs, approximately 45 minutes per day is committed to this training, 6 days per week.

In the United States, all children have the opportunity to enter a gymnastics or sports development program, regardless of limitations with joint flexibility or body mechanics. This same scenario applies for candidates preparing for entry into the armed services, presenting a variety of challenges which require specialized training that address both the anatomical/developmental limitations of each individual.

During the May 1st competition, poolees participated in events that included chin ups, crunch challenge, 1.5 mile run, firemans carry and tug of war.  Though providing an stimulating competitive event,  it was evident that developmental deficiencies (1) limited potential performance and (2)  increased the risk of injury.

The base conditioning level of the poolees, represents the foundation from which progress will be achieved at boot camp, [4] where recruits prepare for active duty in the only service specifically tasked by Congress to be able to operate combined arms in three dimensions: air, land, and sea in a self-contained air-ground fighting force unlike any other in the world. [5]

The potential for optimization of service candidates is proportional to (1) the early identification of the career path (preferably at the secondary school level) and  (2) entry into a development program that includes specialized training in nutrition, flexibility, endurance, strength and motor coordination skills.  This objective could easily be accomplished by the provision of educational materials combined with instruction and guidance by recruiters  holding credentials as trainers and fitness specialists. [6]

The foundation for this developmental focus is a conditioning program for poolees currently being coordinated by Alan Sharkany Jr. [7], former Marine, in Southern Connecticut.  My participation with this program has included classical choreography based skills development utilizing judo and jujitsu.  A presentation to poolees at the USMC Sub Station in Stamford, Connecticut in November 2003, focused on foundational training used in Olympic development programs for the optimization joint strength, stability, precision control of the human frame in space and injury prevention. [8]

In an effort to advance this developmental objective for utilization by all branches of the military, the Sports Medicine & Science Institute [9] will be coordinating research and development of educational support both conventional armed forces training and sports development programs.[10]
 

Stephen M. Apatow, director of research and development for the Sports Medicine & Science Institute, president of the nonprofit organization Humanitarian Resource Institute, is a specialist in strategic planning and project development of initiatives associated with human medicine, veterinary medicine and U.S. and international law. To enhance collaboration between Humanitarian Resource Institute and the international community of scholars, the Humanitarian University Consortium was formed to enhance the development of initiatives associated with economic, social, cultural and humanitarian issues worldwide.
 

1. Jonathan E. Agee, RS Springfield Hosts Annual Pool Meet, Submitted by: 1st Marine Corps District, Story Identification #: 20045594312, Marine Corps News, 1 May 2004. http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/lookupstoryref/20045594312
2. Stephen M. Apatow, Why Eastern Bloc Countries Dominated the Gymnastics Field in Sydney, International Society of Biomechanics in Sports. http://www.coachesinfo.com/article/?id=64
3. Stephen M. Apatow, Performance Optimization: Progressing to the Next Level in Classical Ballet and Olympic Development Programs. http://www.esportsmedicine.org/optimization.html
4. Kelli Kirwan, USMC Boot Camp: How Marines Are Made, Lifelines Services Network. http://www.lifelines2000.org/services/articles/20020729/100413.asp?RootID=439
5. Making Marines & Winning Battles. http://www.usmc.mil/download/make.nsf/page1
6. Certification Programs, International Sports Science Association. http://www.issaonline.com
7. Tim McGough, Former Marine sets pull-up record for good cause, Submitted by: New York Public Affairs, Story Identification #: 200395121624. http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/lookupstoryref/200395121624
8. Stephen M. Apatow, Olympic Development Program Introduced for Elite Armed Services Training, November 2003. http://www.esportsmedicine.org/mil/elite_usmc.html
9. Armed Forces Development Programs, Sports Medicine & Science Institute. http://www.esportsmedicine.org/mil
10. Armed Forces Sports, Department of Defense Sports Link. http://www.dod.mil/armedforcessports/

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