What Are Physical Requirements For Army – Sergeant. U.S. Maj. Thomas Jankiewicz of the Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division, Winchester, Virginia, throws a ten-pound exercise ball for the Army Combat Fitness Test on May 19, 2021. (Army/Sherman Hogue)
The Army is moving forward with its long-awaited combat fitness test this year, but the service has officially abandoned the test’s attempt to establish gender- and age-neutral physical fitness standards, as well as any pretense of being formally tied to combat. functions, beyond having “battle” in their name.
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The changes follow an independent review of testing by RAND, which Congress mandated in the fiscal year 2021 defense policy bill.
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At a media roundtable on Monday, Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston admitted there were “conversations” about whether the ACFT name was still appropriate. However, he argued that the name was justified because “in the United States military, in reality, believe it or not, we all go to war.”
In an independent review of nearly 630,000 ACFT results and military data and science supporting the test, RAND “highlighted weaknesses” in the military’s argument that the test can predict success in combat operations, according to a copy of the report.
RAND researchers reported several “inconsistent findings,” including the University of Iowa study and research, including small sample sizes of women and study designs that may have “masked” links between individual ACFT events and related combat tasks.
“Leg flexion, for example, was not useful for predicting performance in combat tasks,” said RAND’s Dr. Chaitra Hardison, lead author of the study, explained at Monday’s roundtable.
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One of the reasons Congress ordered the review was to determine whether severely underserved career fields would be disproportionately affected. Fields listed with the highest failure rates regardless of gender include animal care, many non-combat medical specialties, cooking, ammunition stockpile control, and human resources.
Additionally, an analysis of ACFT score reports from nearly 460,000 soldiers revealed that women are failing the new test at an alarming rate.
A total of 48% of active duty female recruits and 28% of active duty female officers failed the test. Nearly 60% of women enlisted in the Reserves and Guard failed the ACFT, as did 51% of female Reserve officers and 43% of female Guard officers.
Hardison explained that “inconsistencies in pass rates alone do not necessarily mean that a test is flawed, they are particularly relevant when there is insufficient validity evidence to support the test [linking the test to combat operations].”
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“All Soldiers, regardless of age, sex, and MOS, must be held to the same physical fitness standards (which prioritize combat readiness) or testing and policies established so that all Soldiers have a reasonable chance of passing, but not a minimum.” Minimum level? Rand asked.
The new scoring tables for the permanent version of the ACFT are normalized by age and sex, just like the old Army Physical Fitness Test.
The Army has released the new Army Combat Fitness Test grading scale ahead of the April 1, 2022 release date for the official test for records.
Brigadier General Scott Nauman, the Army’s director of training, emphasized that the Army “decided to implement the test as an assessment of general physical fitness” rather than a test designed to predict performance on a set of “combat [combat] tasks,” to “address the deficiency. Evidence from the University of Iowa study.
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One of the main factors in keeping the tests age- and gender-neutral was to make a direct connection to the warrior tasks and combat practices expected of all soldiers. But removing that link to the work of ordinary soldiers made it harder to justify the gender-neutral standards that led to such significant failure rates for women.
In some events (running and plank), the standard for scoring 60 points and passing the event was lowered from ACFT 3.0 for all genders and age groups. Other events have lower minimum standards for women and higher minimum standards for men, such as sprint-drag-carry and standing power throw.
Nauman explained that the new scale “was developed…using data from 630,000 ACFT scores we collected…historical APFT performance rates…and rating scales from other branches of the US military, specifically for the table”.
The maximum score for an event corresponds to the 96th percentile of performance in a given age and gender group, Nauman explained, and the minimum was set at the 5th percentile for each event. One exception is race, which the general said was “initially set at the third percentile” but was lowered for some age groups that had previously been given minimum time for the old APFT.
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In another change, the Army has added a 2.5-mile walk as an alternative aerobic event for troops unable to complete the two-mile run due to a permanent medical profile.
“These changes will be implemented very deliberately to ensure that Soldiers can train and adjust to new events and new rating scales before we use them for personnel actions,” Army officials said Monday.
It will also buy service time as non-commissioned officer-led “chain training” on testing and its changes moves down the ranks. Grinston began the process of teaching the chain Monday afternoon when he briefed the Army’s command sergeant major.
Soldiers in all branches of the military will begin taking the new diagnostic test on April 1; Failing the test during the initial period has no administrative consequences, although under an Army directive signed by the Secretary of the Army, troops who pass the test may later choose to convert to the ACFT for diagnostic period score records. Army Christine Wermuth.
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Active duty and active guard reserve soldiers will begin taking the test for enlistment on October 1st, and starting in April, military soldiers will have 6 months to pass the ACFT before they count toward promotion points. 1 January 2023. Failing that within that period, soldiers will be selected.
For part-time soldiers in the service, the record probationary period will begin on April 1, 2023, and troops will have one year to pass the ACFT, otherwise they will be flagged until separation takes effect on April 1, 2024.
Those deadlines for other parts of the military come sooner, however: Initial military training courses and other professional military education begin Oct. 1. Soldier must pass ACFT for later graduation dates.
Grinston says the transition to the new ACFT should be easier for Soldiers who trained for the previous version of the test.
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“I don’t see any challenge to be ready for active duty [Army] in six months for Oct. 1,” said the Army’s top non-commissioned officer. “We just turned the legs.”
Davis Winkie is a senior journalist covering the military. It focuses on investigations, personnel concerns, and military justice. Davis, also a Guard veteran, was a finalist for the 2023 Livingston Awards for his work with the Texas Tribune investigating National Guard border missions. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill.
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A yearlong field trial of the Army’s new physical fitness test begins in October, and a copy of the preliminary scoring system was leaked online Tuesday.
For now, Training and Doctrine Command is working on a gender- and age-neutral 100-point system for each of the six events, with a 60-point minimum that will be familiar to anyone who has taken the current Army Physical Fitness Test. .
“The chart represents the standards we intend to use for Army combat fitness testing during the initial operational capability field test phase,” training center spokesman Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pray told Army Times on Wednesday.
To begin with, the standards will be divided into “heavy,” “significant,” and “moderate” physical demands, similar to professional physical assessment tests.
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