The Army’s New Physical Fitness Test Is On Track To Be Fully Implemented Next Year

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A new Army physical fitness test designed to measure combat readiness has entered final stages of development and could be fully implemented across the service as soon as next summer, Army Times reports.  


The so-called Army Combat Readiness Test, or ACRT, is the culmination of more than a decade of research focused on developing a replacement for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which Army officials believe does not adequately measure how well a soldier will perform on the battlefield.

Soldier performs a maximum weight deadlift during Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Developed by the Army’s Center For Initial Military Training (CIMT), the ACRT involves a total of six events versus the APFT’s three — a two-mile run, push-ups, and sit-ups — and, according to Army officials, better prepares soldiers for the physical stress of actual combat, while also reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury.

“This has been in the works since the early 2000s,” Whitfield East, research physiologist with CIMT, told Army Times. “Soon after we went to war, it was pretty self-evident that the APFT did not sufficiently identify the high physical demand capacities that soldiers needed to execute warrior task and battle drills and common soldier tasks.”

A pilot version of the ACRT was rolled out in early August at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, where it was tested by a group of National Guard soldiers and members of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Soldier drags a weighted sled during the Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3, 2017.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

At least one Ranger, Staff Sgt. Talen Peterson, gave the test a favorable review, telling Army Times that it “is as close physically as you can get to replicate the types of physical actions you’ll do on the battlefield.”

Like the APFT, the ACRT measures muscular and cardiovascular endurance; however, while the APFT is purely calisthenic, the ACRT incorporates exercise equipment to measure what an Army official described to Army Times as three additional “domains of physical readiness”: muscular strength, explosive strength and agility.   

“When the [APFT] was developed, they were still under the guidance of zero equipment,” East told Army Times. “What we know is that we can’t assess muscular strength with no equipment. You have to pick something up and put it down.”

The six events, which Army Times describes in detail here, are: A two-mile run, a 250-meter sprint/drag/carry, a maximum weight deadlift, the leg tuck, a standing power throw, and the t-pushup. The events were selected from a pool of around 30 initial options that the Army tested at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 2014.  

Soldier performs the leg tuck during the Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3, 2017.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

The pilot phase of the ACRT now underway in Washington will put up to 2,000 soldiers through the test before the penultimate stage of implementation commences. According to CIMT’s research and analysis directorate, Michael McGurk, this stage will entail “an initial fielding of the test where we put it out for a trial period somewhere between six and 12 months.”

How the test will be scored and how often it will be administered have yet to be determined, but Lt. Col. David Feltwell, the principal doctrine developer for the Army’s physical readiness program, told Army Times that soldiers “will have to pass ACRT from reception battalion all the way through to separation” from the Army.

As with the APFT, the ACRT will be a “test of record,” meaning it will affect eligibility for promotion. Once the trial period is complete and final approval from senior Army leaders is granted, soldiers can start taking the ACRT for real. Army officials believe that could happen as soon as next summer.

On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

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(U.S. Army/Pvt. Stephen Peters)

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After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.

Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.

McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa)

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

Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.

The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.

They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.

It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.

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(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

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Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

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