The military could soon take an additional physical fitness test for combat troops

The military has been working to change the outdated fitness test for more than a decade. And after finally developing, testing and implementing, Congress is putting the service on a curve.

Voting in closed session of senators Armed Forces Committee On Wednesday, it ordered the Army to change the new Army’s Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) to create requirements for supplemental testing of troops for combat weapons functions in addition to the ACFT’s baseline standards.

“Military personnel in military occupational disciplines that require close combat with the enemy must meet stringent physical fitness requirements to ensure the success of the operational mission,” the commission wrote.

A decade later, the ACFT standards are still under discussion:

Or not Proposed in 2012After a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army leaders finally decided to update their fitness test, scrapping the outdated 3-Event PT test that scored using age and gender factors. The military was looking for a better scale to measure physical fitness. The goal was to measure 10 aspects of fitness, including agility, balance and flexibility, rather than the only aspect — muscular endurance — in the old test, Brig said. General John Klein, commander of the initial military training center at the time.

The new test was supposed to be age and gender discrimination It consists of:

  • 3 Max deadlift repetition
  • Standing Force Throw
  • Hand Press – Arm Extension
  • Enemy, drag, carry
  • plank
  • 2-mile run

In 2019, the Army first began testing the new ACFT, which at the time was also a Leg Tuck exercise. They tested many iterations of neutral gender and age tests. Data reviewed by Congress in 2020 showed that women, reservists, and the National Guard failed the test in large numbers.

Congress has ordered an independent evaluation of the new ACFT conducted by Rand Corporation. Rather than focusing on the purpose of the new test, to predict combat fitness and retrain the force accordingly, the Army has changed the criteria to again allow for different criteria for age and gender.

Changes from combat readiness to physical fitness:

After the new ACFT test was introduced in April, the Army changed the entire wording and meaning of the test from a combat readiness test to a physical fitness test.

Not all women in the military agree to the re-implementation of gender norms. Captain Kristen Greste She was the first female infantry officer and one of the first two women to pass the Army’s Rangers School against this idea.

“Under a gender-based system, women in combat arms have to fight every day to dispel the notion that their presence inherently weakens these once-all-men units,” she wrote. “Low female standards It also reinforces the belief that women cannot perform the same job as men, which makes it difficult for women to gain the trust and confidence of their teammates.”

The only thing that had to be addressed was that soldiers vying for a higher rank among the promotion boards also had to be done on a large scale. If the combat criteria defined for a MOS are given in combat roles, they should be given a much higher rating in terms of fitness than a non-combat MOS or women ranked on a different scale.

After a decade of frustration, the military appears to be back to square one with regards to the ACFT.

Steve Ballestriere is a National Security columnist in 1945. He served as a warrant officer and a non-commissioned officer in the US Army’s Special Forces before injuries forced an early separation. In addition to writing for and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for for over 10 years. His work has appeared regularly in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News in Massachusetts.