Training for the ACFT? There's now an app for that

Bullet Points
An Army Combat Fitness Test instructor watches 229th Military Intelligence Battalion Soldiers attempt the new fitness test at the Presidio of Monterey, California. (U.S. Army/Marcus Fichtl)

Any excuses that soldiers have for not being able to prepare for the new Army Combat Fitness Test are growing slimmer and slimmer, as the service has released a revamped physical readiness training (PRT) mobile app.


  • The PRT app is meant to help soldiers train for the new fitness test — which becomes the test of record this October — by providing training templates, a collection of exercises, and by helping soldiers calculate their scores to monitor their progress, according to an Army press release.
  • The app even includes walk-through videos from Army drill sergeants on the different exercises to help soldiers not only perfect the movements, but reduce the risk of injuries.
  • "It delivers on all fronts of physical training," Lt. Co. David Feltwell, physical therapist at the Center for Initial Military Training and an ACFT developer, said in the release. "It gives soldiers information to implement a physical readiness training program regarding all ACFT events by scoring, executing, and helping administer the six events."
  • The app also helps soldiers avoid any possible cyber security risks that come with using third-party programs, the release says, noting the service's recent ban on popular Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
  • You can find the PRT app on the Apple Store, Google Play, and other app stores.

A soldier reunites with his daughter at Fort Bragg, N.C. after returning from the Middle East. The 82nd Airborne Division's Immediate Response Force had been deployed since New Years Eve. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (U.S. Army via Associated Press)

Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.

About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.

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In this June 16, 2018 photo, Taliban fighters greet residents in the Surkhroad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.

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A developmental, early variant of the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) autonomously conducts maneuvers on the Elizabeth River during its demonstration during Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020 at Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 12, 2020. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rebekah M. Rinckey)

Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.

While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.

So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.

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(Nancy Turner via Raleigh News & Observer)

Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.

But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.

Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.

"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.

The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.

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U.S. soldiers inspect the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq January 13, 2020. (REUTERS/John Davison)

In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.

Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.

Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"

The next day was different.

"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."

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