Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
Military Medicine vol:178 issue:7 pages:722-728
Using a cross-sectional design, the present study explored operational demands during the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (2009-2010) across distinct military units. A total of 1413 Dutch soldiers, nested within four types of units (i.e. combat-, combat support-, service support-, and command support units) filled out a 23-item self-survey in which they were asked to evaluate the extent to which they experienced operational characteristics as demanding. Exploratory factor analysis identified 6 underlying dimensions of demands. MANOVA revealed showed that distinct units are characterized by their own unique constellation of perceived demands, even after controlling for previous deployment experience. Most notable findings were found when comparing combat units to other types of units. These insights can be used to better prepare different types of military units for, and support them in the specific demands they face during deployment.