Soldiers can stop wondering how to pass the Army’s new combat fitness test, now that a document showing the initial minimum standards for each of the test’s six events has been leaked online.

An Army spokesman confirmed that the document shows the standards that the service will use during the test’s trial run; however, the scores and times represent a “first step.”

“The field testing will help inform our final test procedures and grading standards,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pray, of the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training. “Final standards are not expected to be approved until October of 2019, and may be adjusted up until the test is approved for record on/about 1 October 2020.”  

All soldiers will be required to take the gender- and age-neutral test by October 2020. The 50-minute test involves a strength deadlift; a medicine ball power throw; a set of pushups, during which soldiers lift their hands off the ground after each pushup; a 250-meter “sprint/drag/carry” event; leg tucks; and a 2-mile run.

Soldiers’ test requirements will be based on their military occupational specialties or units, which will be classified in one of three categories, depending on how physically demanding they are: “moderate,”  “significant,” or “heavy,” the document says.

During the yearlong field test, the minimum requirements for each category will be the following:

  • “Moderate”: Lifting 140 pounds; throwing the medicine ball 4.6 meters; completing 10 pushups; getting through the “spring, drag, carry” event within 3 minutes and 35 seconds; doing one leg tuck; and completing the 2-mile run within 21 minutes and 7 seconds.
  • “Significant”: Lifting 160 pounds; throwing the medicine ball 6.5 meters; doing 20 pushups; completing the “sprint, drag, carry” event within 2 minutes and 45 seconds; doing three leg tucks; and finishing the 2-mile run within 19 minutes.
  • “Heavy”: Lifting 180 pounds; throwing the medicine ball 8.5 meters; doing 30 pushups; completing the “sprint, drag, carry” event within 2 minutes and 9 seconds; doing five leg tucks; and running 2 miles within 18 minutes.

Starting in October, the Army will experiment with different ways to determine which categories a soldier should fall into, Pray told Task & Purpose.

“What we’re going to do is go back to Army senior leaders and present that to them and let them decide which way they think is the best way to actually to assess a soldier,” Pray said. “Right now, there’s no fixed one way of doing it. There are multiple ways that we’re looking at.”

Pray stressed that the Army is starting with a field test to find out what changes need to be made to the combat fitness test before all soldiers have to take it.

“This whole first year is all about trying to tweak and trying to make sure we have the right standards, make sure we have the right events,” he said. “We’re just starting out. The first phase is just trying to work through what seems to work the best. The Army’s senior leaders are going to make that decision.”

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