Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

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After nearly two decades of grinding low-intensity conflict, the U.S. military is shifting to focus on near-peer competition — and tailoring its physical fitness requirements accordingly.

The Army is currently conducting a two-year assessment and rollout plan scheduled for 2020, with 470,205 soldiers who are currently racing to prepare and train for a dramatically different six-event Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), developed in reaction to both the demands of modern conflict and to the declining health and fitness standards of incoming recruits and soldiers. After all, overweight and physically unfit soldiers degrade readiness, take up time and resources, and burden others.

To meet this lofty goal, the Army must undertake the most significant changes to physical fitness testing since the beginning of the professionalized force in 1973 — one that, unfortunately, it is ill-equipped to tackle for a simple reason: it has no up-to-date training apparatus to support the transition. While the new standard may be important for lethality, the Army must consider innovative ways to prepare both recruits and soldiers to successfully implement this new standard — or else risk a significant impact on readiness as the military enters into strategic competition with China and Russia.

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(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ciarra C. Thibodeaux)

Yarrrrrrr, get ready to walk the plank, maties! Or, at least, hold yourself prone on your elbows for an extended period of time!

The Navy plans on adding a plank event to the service's physical readiness test in 2020, replacing sit-ups that are shown to "do more harm than good," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced on Thursday.

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U.S. Navy

The Navy has a new message for tens of thousands of sailors who’ve struggled to work on their fitness:

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Adaecus G. Brooks

Sailors are getting new incentives to stay in shape. The Navy announced June 20 that those sailors who perform in the top tier of the service’s bi-annual physical readiness test will be exempt from taking their next PRT.

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