What is the Incidence of Acute Injuries for Active Component Members of the US Armed Forces (2008-2017)?

Research Paper Title

Incidence of acute injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008-2017.


Injuries have consistently ranked among the top morbidity burdens among U.S. military service members.

This report describes the incidence, trends, types, causes, and dispositions of acute injuries among active component service members by anatomic region.

From 2008 through 2017, there were more than 3.6 million acute incident injuries among more than 1.6 million individuals. The highest rates were for injuries to the foot/ankle, head/neck, and hand/wrist. Injury incidence decreased during the surveillance period for all anatomic sites except for the leg and knee. In addition, incidence varied by military/demographic characteristics and anatomic site.

Overall, service members in the Army and service members in motor transport and/or combat-related occupations tended to have higher incidence rates than their respective counterparts. “Sprains and strains” was the most common type of injury (48.5%), and most injuries were due to undocumented or undetermined causes (69.7%). The most common disposition was “returned to duty with no limitations” (69.8%).

Findings suggest that injury prevention strategies should be tailored to different populations with different risk factors. Future analyses will describe the epidemiology of cumulative traumatic injuries.


Stahlman, S. & Taubman, S.B. (2018) Incidence of acute injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008-2017. MSMR. 25(7), pp.2-9.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.