Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2019 —
The U.S. Army is changing the way Soldier’s physical fitness is measured since its mandatory Army-wide fitness testing that began in 1963. Just short of five decades later, the current Army Physical Fitness Test, which was developed and refined in 1982, is being overhauled.
The new Army Combat Fitness Test has been developed to better prepare and strengthen individual Soldier fitness and unit level readiness in order to provide the nation an adaptable ready Army for an uncertain future.
The ACFT has greater complexity with its six fitness events over the traditional APFT’s three events. The two similarities one will see between the two are, the two mile run and a modified version of the push-up. As the sit-ups have been removed, the maximum deadlift, standing power throw, sprint-drag-carry, and leg tuck have been added.
With an Army wide implantation date scheduled for October 2020, the ACFT has been undergoing field testing since 01 October 2018. With an increasingly more complex test consisting of additional fitness events, added equipment, and sequences of events, training and certifications will take two years to complete Army wide.
When asked what’s the largest hurdle has been so far during field testing, Sgt. Maj. Mike Schultz stated, “Is getting Soldiers to stop fearing the ACFT. Although it looks impossible, there has been a lot less test failures than previously expected.” He continued, “Once the Soldier completes the test, they are excited and ready for the new physical challenges.”
Two, Military Training Teams have been developed and deployed to train-the-trainer all over the United States and overseas. The ACFT MTT teams travel to select locations to provide 3-5 days of training and certification to all components of the U.S. Army. Once Soldiers have been trained and certified, they will return to their home base to train their respective units.
Major Ryan Blake of the 372nd MI Battalion took lead in hosting the ACFT MTT from the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School for the greater Cincinnati, OH area from 21-24 January 2018. Over the three day event, 56 Soldiers representing all three components of the Army, endured and completed the ACFT and received small group instruction on each of the six events. Now certified, these Soldiers will administer and grade the record ACFT scheduled for FY2021.
Several Soldiers from the Columbus U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion stationed at the Western Hills Recruiting Station completed the ACFT. Station Commander, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Walsh along with three recruiters, Staff Sgt. Lonnie Day, Sgt. 1st Class Blake Emmerich, and Staff Sgt. Mardrigius Lewis of the Florence Recruiting Station endured the six event ACFT on Thursday. When asked what the toughest event in the ACFT was, they unanimously agreed, the sprint-drag-carry shuttle was the bear of the show.
Soldiers and staff were visited by several distinguished guest including; Mr. Stephen Lee, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army; Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Copeland, Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj., Sgt. Maj. Mike Schultz, G2 Sgt. Maj., Center for Initial Military Training, Research & Analysis, and the Columbus U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Commander & CSM, LTC Che Arosemena and CSM Torenzo Davis.
For addition information on the ACFT- https://www.army.mil/acft/