No, The Army Isn't Making All Its Soldiers Take The New Combat Readiness Test — Yet

Community

After Task & Purpose published a brief report Oct. 23 on the Army’s proposed PFT replacement, the six-event “Combat Readiness Test,” we heard from some soldiers who’d heard from some other soldiers that an Army-wide CRT was already a done deal. Their command leaders were already talking about how to prepare their troops for the strenuous test.


They shared with us an undated Army manual on the test, complete with scoring scales for each of the events, and some other tantalizing details.

Related: Soldiers Are Already Trying Out The Army’s Planned 6-Event PRT Replacement »

“All components of Soldiers will take two (2) diagnostic ACRT tests during Fiscal Year (FY) 2018,” the manual said, adding that the 12-month period would give Army personnel time to adapt to the test, which would then become a permanent fixture of Army life. “The ACRT will become [fully operational] on 1 October 2018 and will replace the APFT,” it said.

There was only one problem: That guidance is all wrong.

That’s according to Lt. Col. Jeff Pray, the public affairs officer for U.S. Army Center For Initial Military Training (IMT), which is testing the ACRT as part of a comprehensive “holistic health and fitness program” for soldiers.

Pray’s message: The ACRT is not a done deal, it’s one of several possible soldier fitness tests on the table, and Army leadership has not signed off on its implementation yet. So if you see a doc floating around that says otherwise, disregard it. The actual timeline for a possible PFT replacement is more deliberate and less certain.

In fact, Pray says, key Army leaders may not weigh in on the test until sometime next year. “We’re going to have recommendations as far as how we believe it’s going to be implemented,” he told Task & Purpose Oct. 25. “Any sort of implementation is probably going to take a couple of years or so.”

So where did this CRT manual come from, and how did soldiers get a hold of it? “That was just a forecast,” Pray says, for internal use only, so IMT’s scientists and researchers could wargame the test and its possible implementation. “We needed initial kind of guidelines to go off of,” he said. A hypothetical guidance like that helps the testing team focus “so if we do get an implementation order, we’re ready to go.”

Pray added that “it wouldn’t be smart for anyone to use this” document externally: “A lot of factors have to be worked into it.”

But the internal draft got out, as these things often do, and some soldiers who saw its language thought it was a new, all-hands gospel truth. T&P; is including a copy of that out-of-date report below, only for reference, so soldiers can recognize it if they see it in the wild:

Internal Manual On The Proposed Army Combat Readiness Test (OUTDATED) by Adam Weinstein on Scribd

Meanwhile, the truth — as it usually is in the military — is a little more workmanlike. Army Force Command is still testing out another potential six-event fitness exam, the Soldier Readiness Test, and IMT’s Combat Readiness Test is running alongside that right now. “We’re looking at possibly another [CRT] pilot test next year, as well,” Pray says, to “continue to refine that concept.”

An eventual Army PFT replacement “could be a mixture of what we have and what some other people are testing,” he said.

But the Army seems to have already reached a broad consensus that the existing PFT needs to be replaced with a test that more closely gauges soldiers’ physical fitness for common combat-related tasks.

In that spirit, Pray says that if soldiers want to use the outmoded guidance — and the buzz around the Combat Readiness Test — to get their fitness on, they should, by all means. “They could of course start training for the individual events,” he said. “They build the type of muscles that combat-related tasks can require.”

U.S. Army/Sean Kinnons
(U.S. Air Force)

Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.

Read More Show Less

Two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters recently flew a mission in the Middle East in "beast mode," meaning they were loaded up with as much firepower as they could carry.

The F-35s with the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to execute a mission in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command revealed. The fifth-generation fighters sacrificed their high-end stealth to fly with a full loadout of weaponry on their wings.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photos)

The U.S. Senate closed out the week before Memorial Day by confirming Gen. James McConville as the Army's new chief of staff and Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy's new chief of naval operations.

McConville, previously vice chief of staff of the Army, was confirmed on Thursday along with his successor, Lt Gen. Joseph Marin. Moran, currently vice chief of naval operations, was confirmed Friday along with his successor, Vice Adm. Robert Burke.

Read More Show Less

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is prohibiting service members who work there from being in the area of a Ku Klux Klan rally scheduled for Saturday in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Elise Amendola)

The Pentagon is producing precisely diddly-squat in terms of proof that Iran is behind recent attacks in the Middle East, requiring more U.S. troops be sent to the region.

Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, said on Friday that the U.S. military is extending the deployment of about 600 troops with four Patriot missile batteries already in the region and sending close to 1,000 other service members to the Middle East in response to an Iranian "campaign" against U.S. forces.

Read More Show Less