The Army is developing an alternate combat fitness test for soldiers with permanent injuries

Health & Fitness
How To Prepare For The Army Combat Fitness Test

The Army is working on developing an alternate fitness test for soldiers with permanent injuries that prevent them from completing the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

The new test standards for permanent profiles won't be finalized until October 2019, the Army said on Monday, but tests selected to be tested further include a 15,000 meter stationary bike ride, a 5,000 meter row, and a 1,2000 meter swim. Each event would be finished "in a set time, targeted at 25 minutes or less."

Currently, the test's events include the following:

  • Three-repetition maximum deadlift
  • Standing power throw
  • Hand-release push-ups
  • A 250-meter sprint-drag-carry
  • Leg tuck
  • A two-mile run

The alternate test would require the soldier to at a minimum complete the sprint-drag-carry, a 3-repetition maximum deadlift, and one of the aforementioned aerobic events. If the soldier's condition did not prevent them from doing more than that, than they would. For example, an ankle injury would probably not prevent someone from doing the leg tuck.

A permanent profile, in the Army's eyes, is essentially something that has been deemed unfixable: as Michael McGurk, director of research and analysis at the Center for Initial Military Training, told Task & Purpose, it's something where "a year or more has passed and doctors have determined that the healing and retraining process is complete, and the condition is not going to get better."

The most common injuries of this nature, he said, are things like a back or a knee injury. In that case, the profile typically says "run at own pace and distance," which doesn't mean the soldier can't run, but just that they may be slower than others.

Sgt. Elvis Palarchie, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk, La., measures his stride during the 2-mile run, the last segment in the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) (U.S. Army/Gloria Montgomery)

"And then someone says, 'Well, how can they do the row or how can they do the bike if they can't run?'" McGurk told Task & Purpose. "And I'm like, no, the profile is run at own pace and distance, which doesn't mean that you can't run, it means you may be...not as fast or as agile. But the test is designed that if you're in a combat situation and you needed to perform these tasks, are you eligible? Are you capable of performing these tasks in a combat situation that would require you to do that?"

While things like hearing loss or bad eyesight are both permanent profiles, they aren't being considered for the alternate assessment because they would not keep someone from completing the ACFT.

McGurk said in the press release that soldiers with permanent profiles "may also undergo a Medical Retention Board and Physical Evaluation Boards to determine fitness for further military duty. Part of those reviews may be tied to their ability to pass a modified assessment. This allows commanders to deploy these soldiers 'with risk' and determine if the risk is acceptable based on Soldier's skills and nature of the mission."

In other words, deploying a soldier ultimately lies with the commander no matter what the medical assessment of their condition might be. And as McGurk pointed out to Task & Purpose, just because a soldier is non-deployable doesn't mean the Army couldn't find another place for them to serve.

In the situation of a temporary profile — like a soldier twisting his or her ankle, for example — the soldier would wait until they were healed and cleared by the doctor before taking the regular ACFT. McGurk said the soldier would be given "the appropriate time to recondition and get into shape" before taking the test.

SEE NEXT: The Army National Guard Is Shelling Out For Some Sweet Fitness Gear To Help Your Lazy Ass Get In Shape

WATCH ALSO: The Army Combat Readiness Test

Naval Air Station Pensacola (U.S. Navy photo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.

Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.

Read More Show Less

Katherine Burton was sitting on her couch when she heard a scream.

Though she had not yet met her upstairs neighbors, Army. Col. Jerel Grimes and his wife Ellizabeth, Burton went to investigate almost immediately. "I knew it was a cry for help," she recalled of the August 1 incident.

Above her downstairs apartment in Huntsville, Alabama, Jerel and Ellizabeth had been arguing. They had been doing a lot of that lately. According to Ellizabeth, Jerel, a soldier with 26 years of service and two Afghanistan deployments under his belt, had become increasingly controlling in the months since the couple had married in April, forcing her to share computer passwords, receipts for purchases, and asking where she was at all times.

"I was starting to realize how controlling he was, and how manipulative he was," Ellizabeth said. "And he'd never been this way towards me in the 15 years that I've known him."

Read More Show Less