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United States Coast Guard Testing: A Course Project

The course project is aimed at developing a testing protocol for the United States Coast Guard employees. This population is tasked with various assignments, including homeland security missions (United States Coast Guard, n.d.). Other missions may include monitoring icebergs and implementing relevant risk analysis interventions, enforcing domestic laws related to marine resources, providing navigational aids, and rescue operations (USCG, n.d.). The rationale for selecting this professional group is the opportunity to practice in the creation of basic testing protocols for occupations that involve dissimilar types of vigorous-intensity physical activities. Such activities may include swimming, pulling heavy objects, running, using weapons, and participating in the arrest and detention of illegal immigrants or armed criminals.

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The areas of focus for five tests in the battery are muscular endurance, flexibility, and swimming skills that the USCG members must have to participate in physically-demanding tasks. The first test, one-minute push-ups, has been included as a basic indicator of upper body endurance. This test finds extensive use in the assessments of the strength of the arms and the shoulders in diverse settings and participants, including air force members (Arifin et al., 2020). The exercise will be scored based on meeting the push-up test norm for the USCG employees (29 and 15 push-ups for male and female participants, respectively) and the absence of mistakes, such as incomplete push-ups.

The second test included in the protocol is one-minute bent knee sit-ups. It is chosen to assess the selected group’s abdominal endurance and presents a popular approach to measuring muscular strength and endurance without specific equipment (Arifin et al., 2020). As for ranking, each participant will need to meet the organization’s internal basic standards (38 and 32 sit-ups for male and female employees, respectively) and adhere to time requirements (not more than 60 seconds). Additionally, each participant’s technique will be critical during scoring – sit-ups without touching the floor or raising one’s body in a predetermined fashion will not be counted.

The next component of the test battery is the 1.5-mile run test. The test is focused on physical endurance that the USCG employees need to demonstrate to have professional suitability and succeed at different assignments involving moving. It has been included to assess participants’ overall physical endurance and is considered to be a basic measure of service personnel’s fitness (Heller & Stammers, 2020). Participants’ performance will be evaluated based on the minimum standards established by the body in question, according to which men have no more than 12 minutes and 51 seconds to run 1.5 miles. Women will have to complete the exercise in 15 minutes and 26 seconds or less.

The fourth component is the sit and reach test, and flexibility is its area of focus. It has been included to assess the selected group’s lower back flexibility. A wide range of movement is important for multiple tasks that the USCG employees may need to perform, such as climbing and running (Aedo-Muñoz et al., 2019). The performance will be scored with reference to the organization’s basic requirements. According to them, men should be able to reach at least 16.5 inches past their knees, whereas the minimum requirement for women is 19.29 inches. Importantly, the results of attempts with technique-related violations (for instance, wrong leg position) will not be recorded.

Finally, each participant will have to pass a two-part swim water circuit test. This test is required to provide a general assessment of participants’ swimming skills that the USCG employees need for successful task performance and in case of marine accidents. To score the test, the evaluator will measure success in the first part of the exercise based on whether a person has been able to jump into a pool from a moderate height (6 feet) and swim a 100-meter distance without resorting to the backstroke technique. Then, a person’s ability to tread water for at least five minutes without breaks will be scored.

References

Aedo-Muñoz, E., Araya-Ibacache, M., Miarka, B., Moya-Jofre, C., Cancino-López, J., Mozer, R. L., & Brito, C. J. (2019). Effect of sex differences in sports groups on hamstring flexibility based on the sitreach test: New parameters for Chilean athletes. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 19(4), 2374-2378.

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Arifin, S., Retnawati, H., & Putranta, H. (2020). Indonesian air force physical tester reliability in assessing one-minute push-up, pull-up, and sit-up tests. Sport Mont, 18(2), 89-93.

Heller, R., & Stammers, H. (2020). Running to breaking point? The relationship between 1.5-mile run time and injury risk in female recruits during British Army basic training. BMJ Military Health, 1-5.

United States Coast Guard. (n.d.). Missions. Web. 

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