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Medical causes of temporary or definitive leaves from a French counterterrorist unit pre-internship
  1. Oscar Thabouillot1,2,
  2. R Roffi1,
  3. K Bertho1,
  4. F Ramon1,
  5. D Commeau1,
  6. Y Fressancourt1,
  7. E Quemeneur1,
  8. N-C Roche3 and
  9. O Dubourg1
  1. 1Antenne médicale spécialisée de Satory, Versailles, France
  2. 2Ecole du Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France
  3. 3Hôpital d'Instruction des Armées Bégin, Service de cardiologie, Saint-Mandé, France
  1. Correspondence to Lt Oscar Thabouillot, Antenne médicale spécialisée de Satory, 34 rue de la Martinière, Versailles 78000, France; thabouillot{at}


Introduction Each year, the French Special Weapons And Tactics team, Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, recruits new members through a physically demanding 8-week selection process. The goal of this study is to estimate the incidence and the causes for temporary or final interruptions during this process for medical reasons.

Subjects, material and methods All of the candidates for the November 2015 selection process were included in this prospective study. The number and reasons for temporary or final interruptions were documented by military general practitioners.

Results The applicants were 48 law enforcement professionals (2 women, mean age 29.4 years, range 22–35). In 14 cases, a temporary interruption was required and in five cases the selection process prematurely ended. Fifty-two per cent of the temporary interruptions were due to sprains, tendinopathies, fractures or muscle tears, 11% were due to burns, wounds or subcutaneous bruises, 16% were due to cranial trauma and 21% were due to medical causes.

Discussion The high prevalence of minor traumatology that we observed is similar to the ones observed in other cohorts describing initial training for military personnel in the conventional forces. However, the presence of other pathologies in our study, such as cranial trauma or medical causes, is due to the specificity of this internship selection granting access to an elite unit.

  • Special Weapons And Tactics unit
  • Army training

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