Soldiers Are Already Trying Out The Army's Planned 6-Event PRT Replacement

Community
U.S. Army

Good news, green-suiters: The Army is finally admitting that its physical fitness test “in no way helps Soldiers focus on preparing to do their jobs.”


That’s according to an Oct. 20 Army dispatch from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where a bunch of sappers, military cops, and other soldiers are trying out the service’s more-challenging, but frankly more-fun-looking, proposed PFT replacement: the Combat Readiness Test.

The combat fitness evaluation is “part of a wider holistic health and fitness effort to optimize Soldiers,” the Army says as only it can, with a touch of new-ageyness and weird efficiency-speak.

The apparent consensus on post? The new test beats what soldiers are doing now. "I think it's a really good program," Spc. Priscilla Gibson, a Human Resource specialist with the 169th Engineer Battalion, said after her shop took the CRT. "If you train for it, it will definitely get you more physically fit than the current PT test. It challenges you more; instead of three events there are six."

Six events! And they’re not exactly stuff you can sail through while still half-asleep at oh-dark-thirty, in the grand tradition of seasonal unit PT testing. Designed to reduce injuries and be more reflective of physical labors that soldiers can actually expect to perform on the job, the CRT looks like something your first sergeant picked up from watching the youngs do Crossfit. It consists of:

U.S. Army

T pushups: You do a pushup, but when you’re down, you prop yourself on your gut and spread your arms out to the sides. Repeat for two minutes, or until you’re swimming.

U.S. Army

250-meter sprint/drag/carry: You’re laying down prone, you pop up and sprint 25 meters out and back. You walk backwards while dragging a bunch of weights out and back.Then you sprint another 25 meters and back. Then you pick up two 30-pound kettles and walk them out and back. Then you sprint another 25 meters and back, again. Then you do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around. That, and having as low an elapsed time as possible, is what it’s all about.*

U.S. Army

Leg tuck: Grab a pullup bar with both hands like it’s the hilt of a broadsword, and start from a dead hang. Bend your elbows, hips and waist till the knees touch those elbows, then pop back to a dead hang, then do it as many times as you can while not looking like you’re enduring torture. Just kidding: You don’t get extra points for stoicism. But you don’t get any points for grunting and grimacing, either.

U.S. Army

Standing power throw: Grab a 10-pound medicine ball, lower it to the ground, then heave that sucker backwards over your head as far as it will go. Don’t worry, you get a practice throw. This mostly just sounds therapeutic.

U.S. Army

3-repetition deadlift: Exactly what it sounds like. Dropping the bar on the last rep and screaming primally while your veins bulge is optional.

U.S. Army

2-mile run: Are you kidding? I exhausted myself just writing this far.

The Army says an estimated 2,000 soldiers on five bases, including Leonard Wood, are expected to try out the test before any decisions are made on its future. No one’s even sure how the events will be scored yet, except to say that there’ll be tiered standards — no straight pass/fail events here.

But just because there’s no service-wide launch date on this thing, don’t act surprised when the CRT replaces your PFT.  "If the Army creates a program to train for these events then absolutely (it will better prepare Soldiers for combat)," 1st Sgt. Alan Forester II of Company D, 31st Engineer Battalion said in the Army’s Oct. 20 release. "The training would be better-rounded and address other aspects of fitness, such as power.”

Your first sergeant likes it! Which means you’d probably better learn to love it, too.

*Update, 9 AM EDT, 10/25/2017: A representative of the Army's Center for Initial Military Training reached out to let us know that the Army's Oct. 20 release omitted a 50-meter sprint from its description of the 250-meter "sprint/carry/drag."

Without that sprint, she said, "the description only adds up to 200 meters. So our public math has not been good and for that we apologize and are working to request corrections." This article has been updated to include the full five stages of the 250-meter event.

New London — Retired four-star general John Kelly said that as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, he pushed back against the proposal to deploy U.S. troops to the southern border, arguing at the time that active-duty U.S. military personnel typically don't deploy or operate domestically.

"We don't like it," Kelly said in remarks at the Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night. "We see that as someone else's job meaning law enforcement."

Read More Show Less
Photo: Iran

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Yemen's Houthi rebel group, part of a regional network of militants backed by Iran, claims to be behind the drone strikes on two Saudi oil facilities that have the potential to disrupt global oil supplies.

A report from the United Nations Security Council published in January suggests that Houthi forces have obtained more powerful drone weaponry than what was previously available to them, and that the newer drones have the capability to travel greater distances and inflict more harm.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Air Force has selected two companies to make an extreme cold-weather boot for pilots as part of a long-term effort to better protect aviators from frostbite in emergencies.

In August the service awarded a contract worth up to $4.75 million to be split between Propel LLC and the Belleville Boot Company for boots designed keep pilots' feet warm in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without the bulk of existing extreme cold weather boots, according to Debra McLean, acquisition program manager for Clothing & Textiles Domain at Air Force Life Cycle Management Command's Agile Combat Support/Human Systems Division.

Read More Show Less

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting world energy supplies and warned on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less