With last year’s expansion of the Warrior Athletic Training Program (WAT) at Fort Benning, WAT has become involved in the overall health, wellness, and injury prevention strategy of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE). The program recently received an additional $168,673 expansion to assist in the MCOE Command Generals overall injury prevention effort for all Soldiers in Training (SIT) at Fort Benning.
The new program includes screening, education, research, and intervention for all incoming SITs, as well as working with those that may have a lower level of readiness to complete the rigorous training that Fort Benning requires. The goal is to decrease the high level of injuries that the WAT program has identified and worked to decrease over its past five years as a Fort Benning program. The expansion will fund the addition of seven staff members, including Athletic Trainers, sports and conditioning specialists, and a program administrative assistant.
Fort Benning developed the Maneuver Center of Excellence as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission’s consolidation of several schools and installations to create “centers of excellence.” Included in this transformation was the move of the Armor School to Fort Benning. Fort Benning and The Maneuver Center provide Trained, Adaptive, and Ready Soldiers and Leaders for an Army at War. WAT provides sports medicine services to Fort Benning and has since 2009.
Dr. JoEllen Sefton is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Warrior Research Center and Neuromechanics Laboratory. Currently, the Lab has one doctoral student and 17 master students working on approximately 13 projects. Twelve of the graduate students participate in the WAT program as part of the Auburn University Post-Certification Graduate Athletic Training Program.