Army Reintroduces the Master Fitness Trainer Course

Mobile training teams are teaching the reintroduced Master Fitness Training Course at military installations to help facilitate physical readiness training Photo courtesy of the US Army
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Mobile training teams are teaching the reintroduced Master Fitness Training Course at military installations to help facilitate physical readiness training. <i>Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.</i></p>

The U.S. Army is reintroducing the Master Fitness Trainer Course (MFTC) to help soldiers meet new physical readiness training guidelines.

The physical readiness training (PRT), based on Army Field Manual 7-22, is designed to prepare soldiers for combat. To help facilitate the PRT program, the Army reintroduced the MFTC, which was discontinued in 2001.

Last month, mobile training teams began teaching four-week MFTCs at six military installations, according to an Army news release. The training course requires three hours of PRT training and exercise in the morning followed by classroom instruction in the afternoon.

Soldiers who become master fitness trainers will monitor unit and individual physical readiness programs and advise units on physical readiness issues. By the end of 2014, the Army expects to have 4,500 master fitness trainers, according to its website.

PRT emphasizes strength, endurance and mobility as well as other health factors, such as sleep and nutrition. By increasing soldiers' physical readiness, injury rates and injury-related spending are expected to decrease.

According to the manual published last year, PRT "prepares soldiers and units for the physical challenges of fulfilling the mission in the face of a wide range of threats, in complex operational environments, and with emerging technologies."

"The purpose of Army PRT is not merely to make our soldiers look fit, but to actually make them physically ready for the conduct of full spectrum operations," the manual says. 

The PRT will be done in addition to the Army's physical fitness test, which consists of push-ups, sit-ups and a 2-mile run. The Army intended to replace the current physical fitness test with a physical readiness test, but the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command decided last year that the decision required further evaluation.

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