Club Industry is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Recruits may request to retake the Occupational Physical Assessment Test OPAT if they fail Multiple unsuccessful attempts may result in a military occupational specialty MOS renegotiation and a subsequent difficulty downgrade in the test Photo by Thinkstock
<p>Recruits may request to retake the <span data-scayt-lang="en_US" data-scayt-word="OPAT">Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT)</span> if they fail. Multiple unsuccessful attempts may result in a military occupational specialty (MOS) <span data-scayt-lang="en_US" data-scayt-word="renegotiation">renegotiation</span> and a subsequent difficulty downgrade in the test. (Photo by Thinkstock.)</p>

Army Emphasizes Strength, Aerobics in New Physical Assessment Test

The Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) will place a greater emphasis on U.S. Army applicants&#39; physical strength and aerobic ability through a series of monitored exercises. The test also encourages physical fitness prior to the recruitment and training processes, an Army spokesperson said.

The U.S. Army has implemented a new physical fitness test aimed at better preparing recruits for the challenges of military life.

The Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) went into effect Jan. 3 and focuses on aerobics and lower- and upper-body strength, Army spokesperson Jennifer Johnson told Club Industry. It will also allow recruiters to more accurately evaluate applicants’ overall fitness levels prior to initial training.

“We anticipate that the OPAT will lower attrition, which can lead to money saved, fewer injuries, fewer lost training seats, and other positive impacts that will contribute to overall Army readiness,” Johnson said.

OPAT includes four, gender-neutral tests, according to

  • The Seated Power Throw requires participants sit with their lower back against a yoga block and their upper back against a wall. From their chest, they must throw a 4.4-pound medicine ball at a 45-degree angle. The assessment is based on the how far the ball travels before hitting the ground.
  • The Standing Long Jump requires participants leap as far as possible from a stationary position.
  • The Strength Deadlift requires participants perform a series of lifts while standing within a hex bar. The lifts start at 120 pounds and increase to 220 pounds.
  • The Interval Aerobic Run requires participants run shuttle laps between two points, 20 meters apart. A runner’s pace is determined through a series of synchronized beeps projected over a loudspeaker. The intervals between beeps gradually become shorter, meaning participants must run faster. The assessment is based on the number of shuttles completed.

OPAT standards vary based on a participant’s designated military occupational specialty (MOS). The Black category is hardest and only administered to those with heavy physical demands, while Gray is for significant demands and Gold is for moderate.

The test will be administered to 80,000 recruits and thousands of cadets this year alone, according to Recruits may request to retake the OPAT if they fail. Multiple unsuccessful attempts may result in a MOS renegotiation and subsequent category downgrade, such as Gray to Gold.

“The OPAT was created to better match prospective soldiers to careers in the Army where they are most likely to succeed and meet the Army's needs,” Johnson said.

Several groups, including PHIT America, have warned about the danger to the country due to the unfit state of 70 percent of youth to serve in the military, according to the Mission: Readiness report put together in 2015 by 600 military leaders.  

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.