UK Gets $4 Million Federal Grant for Military Fitness Research

Sep 20, 2018

Demonstration Following UK News Conference on DOD Grant
Credit Stu Johnson

The University of Kentucky will use a $4 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense and Office of Naval Research to better determine optimal physical and mental fitness of elite military members.  The announcement came Thursday on UK’s campus. 

The funding goes to UK’s Sports Medicine Research Institute.  Admiral David Hahn says there are not wide differences today in military technologies. “Because of the pace of technology today, any military advantage that’s created through technology, that gets moved across the world in literally at the speed of light, very quickly.  So, the difference will be how well have we prepared the human beings to perform in that environment,” said Hahn.

Hahn says being more predictive in understanding mental and physical condition of service men and women creates a better chance of success in any type of military mission.

UK College of Health Sciences Dean Scott Lephart says service men and women can suffer physical and mental deficits coming out of deployment.  “They’re related to injuries.  They’re related to the compression they have away from their families and their normal environment.  And we want to ensure that they have completely recovered and have trained back up, so we’re not deploying them in a state where they still have some of these residual problems from the previous deployment,” noted Lephart.

Lephart says the award represents 15 years of continuous research with the Department of Defense and special operations forces successfully transferred from Sports Medicine Research Institute faculty at the University of Pittsburg to UK.​