Table 4

Demographic data from individual studies (n=21)

Author (year) (reference)Geographical settingSOF populationSample sizeAge (years)*SexMilitary experience (years)*Rank
Pirson and Pirlot (1990)18 BelgiumParaCommando Regiment188018–27Male onlyTraineesTrainees
Linenger et al (1993)19 USANSW SEAL trainees18–31Male onlyTraineesTrainees
Shwayhat et al (1994)20 USANSW SEAL trainees22422.3±2.6Male onlyTraineesTrainees
Kragh et al (1996)22 USAUSASOC Army Rangers55624 (18–43)–†4.4E-5, PTE-LTCOL
Miser et al (1995)21 USAUSASOC Army Rangers47122.7±4.2–†3.1±2.9E-4 (mean)
Ensign et al (2000)24 USANSW SWCC15432.0±5.9–†12.0±5.5
Schumacher et al (2000)23 USAUSASOC Army Rangers–†
Kotwal et al (2004)25 USAUSASOC Army Rangers63418–48–†PTE-COL
Hughes and Weinrauch (2008)26 AustraliaADF 4RAR254
Lynch and Pallis (2008)37 USAUSASOC 5th SFG–†
Hollingsworth (2009)28 USAMARSOC 1st MRB8726.8±4.3–†7.6±3.9
Reynolds et al (2009)‡27 USA16230.5±6.0–†
Abt et al (2014)29 USAUSASOC 3rd SFG10631.7±5.3–†11.0±5.5
Teyhen et al (2015)30 USAUSASOC Army Rangers18823.3±3.7Male only1–10
Lovalekar et al (2016)31 USANSW SEAL21028.1±6.0Male only
Heebner et al (2017)34 USAUSASOC SOF9532.7±5.1–†
Lovalekar et al (2017)32 USA10128.5±5.6Male only
Lovalekar et al (2017)33 USANSW SEAL, SWCC, SQT, CQT920–†
Lovalekar et al (2018)35 USAAFSOC 24th SOW13029.1±5.2–†
Teyhen et al (2018)*36 USAUSASOC Army Rangers207–†
Dijksma et al (2020)17 NetherlandsRNLMC Trainees48220.6±2.3Male onlyTraineesTrainees
  • (–) data not reported.

  • *Values are presented as reported by individual studies using either range, mean with SD, or a mean with a range in brackets.

  • †Special Operations Forces positions only open to females in the USA in January 2016.38

  • ‡Data extracted on Special Operations Forces population cohort.

  • ADF, Australian Defence Force; AFSOC, Airforce Special Operations Command; COL, Colonel; CQT, Crewman Qualification Training; LTCOL, Lieutenant Colonel; MARSOC, Marine Special Operations Command; MRB, Marine Raider Battalion; NSW, Naval Special Warfare; PTE, Private; 4RAR, 4th Royal Australian Regiment; RNLMC, Royal Netherlands Marine Corps; SEAL, Sea Air and Land; SFG, Special Forces Group; SOF, Special Operations Forces; SOW, Special Operations Wing; SQT, SEAL Qualification Training; SWCC, Special Warfare Combatant Crewman; USASOC, United States Army Special Operations Command.