Army Fitness Tests Could See Further Revisions

The U.S. Army is considering further changes to the revised physical fitness tests it has been trialing for the last six months following feedback from Army leaders and soldiers.

The Army started piloting two new tests—the Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) and the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT)—in March, with the hope that both could be introduced by October. However, officials charged with implementing the new testing procedures are considering some key changes to the tests based on statistical data and feedback they received during trials of the new tests at eight bases across the country, the Army Times website reports.

Potential changes to the APRT, intended to replace the Army’s 30-year-old physical fitness test (PT), include adding dead-hang pull-ups, increasing the length of the rower portion of the test from one minute to two minutes and keeping the two-mile run required by the old PT, rather than the shorter 1.5-mile run previously proposed for the APRT.

The ACRT, which includes tasks designed to simulate those that soldiers could perform in the field, may be revised to include full body armor in some testing modules.

Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, deputy commanding general of initial military training at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), told the Army Times that the proposed changes to the APRT were being considered in response to initial test scores and suggestions from the rank and file. In addition to designing a test that accurately gauges a soldier’s ability to perform in the field, TRADOC officials must consider the cost of conducting the test, whether it is fair for both male and female soldiers, and environmental factors, such as terrain at the test sites, Longo said.

TRADCOC officials now aim to finish trials of the new tests, analyze the results and agree on standards by April 2012 and implement the APRT and ACRT across the branch by October 2012.

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