This officer candidate just maxed the new ACFT, so step up your game

Health & Fitness

VIDEO: How to prepare for tthe Army Combat Fitness Test

A basic trainee just took the Army's new combat fitness test to school.


Spc. Benjamin Ritchie, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, hit a perfect score of 600 points on the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) on Oct. 21, the first basic trainee to do so.

He's the third person in total to nail a perfect score on the new test, according to the Army.

Ritchie's battalion is one of two at Fort Jackson that is having trainees take the ACFT as a "field test."

At first, Ritchie — an officer candidate — was initially unable to max the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which the AFCT will fully replace next year.

The Army said that for the following nine weeks, Ritchie "performed regularly scheduled physical readiness training … and ate the regular meals provided by the dining facility."

At the end of basic training, Ritchie was maxing both the APFT and the ACFT.

Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Cabrera with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, observes Spc. Benjamin Ritchie conduct an Army Combat Fitness Test event.(U.S. Army photo)

Army leaders are ecstatic about the service's new fitness test, saying it's a step in the right direction to keeping the force ready and lethal.

But the ACFT came under scrutiny after preliminary scores were leaked that showed an overall failure rate for 84% of women. Leaders weren't concerned, however, pointing to proper training as the key to success.

A senior drill sergeant in Ritchie's company echoed that sentiment, saying that the "special sauce" for success is "hard work and motivation."

"There were no special fitness coaches, diets, or focused ACFT workouts … Once you get the trainees to buy-in to what you're doing, they will achieve whatever you put in front of them," Staff Sgt. Joshua Delgado said in the Army release.

The ACFT becomes the Army's official test in October 2020.

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less

An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

Read More Show Less

ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

Read More Show Less

The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

Read More Show Less

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

Read More Show Less