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FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- The Army will retain the current three-event Army Physical Fitness Test, pending a study to determine the best method to measure baseline Soldier physical readiness.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command found that implementing changes to how the Army assesses physical fitness would be premature.
We anticipate that the baseline Soldier physical readiness study, linked to Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, may generate new information that affects how we develop and test physical fitness, said TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey.
WHAT WAS PROPOSED?
In 2011, TRADOC implemented a physical fitness training philosophy that Soldiers are better prepared if they train how they would fight. This prompted the Army Physical Fitness School to re-evaluate a Solders physical capabilities.
A five-event Army Physical Readiness Test was developed to replace the current three-event APFT. The test eliminated situps and included the following: 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute rower, standing long jump, one-minute pushup and 1.5-mile run.
More than 10,000 Soldiers worldwide participated in pilot testing of the APRT. After reviewing the data, TRADOC commissioned an independent panel to validate the proposed five-event APRT.
WHY RETAIN THE APFT?
The panel of experts from the Department of Physical Education at U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, and California State University-Fullerton recommended against moving forward with the APRT and that TRADOC further study the issue.
The panel agreed that the five-event APRT has face validity only, meaning that although it appears to measure what it claims to measure, further study would be required to confirm. Additionally, experts agreed that TRADOC should consider other events that may better predict baseline Soldier physical readiness. Soldier baseline physical readiness is the ability to meet the physical demands of combat and duty position, and accomplish the mission while conducting unified land operations.
TRADOC is preparing to reestablish the master fitness trainer program. Targeting NCOs, this program, discontinued in 2001, will eventually provide commanders at all levels certified fitness advisers. A pilot master fitness training course began Monday.
Bringing back MFTC will standardize unit physical training and increase unit readiness across the Army, Dailey said, referring to the doctrine in TC 3-22.20 Army Physical Readiness Training.
TC 3-22.20 focuses training on developing Soldier physical readiness required to perform warrior tasks and battle drills which all Soldiers must be able to perform to fight and win on the battlefield.
Its time to break the culture of training to the test and focus instead on preparing all Soldiers for the physical challenges of the current and future operating environment, Dailey said.