Army Physical Fitness Testing Overhauled

The U.S. Army is changing the way it tests soldiers’ physical fitness. According to a news story on the Army website, the current physical fitness test (PT) will be replaced by two new tests: the Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) and the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT).

The new tests are designed to work in conjunction with the Army Physical Readiness Training program that launched last August with the goal of offering soldiers training that better reflects the physical skills and abilities they need in the field. For example, while the PT consists of timed sit-ups and push-ups and a two-mile run, the ACRT includes modules such as a sprint in which the soldier carries a heavy ammo canister and a “casualty drag” that simulates the action of carrying a wounded soldier to safety.

Army officials say the new program and tests also address another issue—the decreased physical fitness of many of today’s new recruits—better than the current PT, which has not changed in 30 years.

“We needed to come up with a program for the incoming young soldiers who were not as focused on health, fitness and nutrition,” Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Initial Military Training, at Fort Monroe, VA, said in the Army story.

The APRT and ACRT are being piloted at eight bases over the next few months. Testing standards will be developed during the trial periods at Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Benning, GA; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Bliss, TX; West Point, NY; Fort Bragg, NC; and Fort Lewis, WA. The website reported that the Army could roll out the new tests at all bases by October.

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