It looks like the new US Army PT standards could be coming sooner rather than later:
More than 10,000 tests were conducted, mountains of data were compiled, and a few dialogues even devolved into debates — and now your new fitness test is ready for final approval.
The plan retains the same five events first considered more than a year ago, but each had significant changes and challenges along the way. The recommendation will be presented this month to Gen. Robert Cone, head of Training and Doctrine Command, and includes:
• Two-mile run. The initial plan was to cut the run to a mile and a half, which is considered the best measure of cardiovascular fitness. But the rank and file sounded off and said the extra half-mile measures the heart.
Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, who as deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training was responsible for designing the new test, said leaders may toughen the scoring scale to ensure better fitness.
• Pushups for one minute. This event was nearly replaced with dead-hang pullups, which are a better measure of functional upper body strength. Pullups were included in more than 1,000 pilot tests conducted at Fort Bliss, Texas. The scoring discrepancy between men and women was so great that different events would have been required to keep it fair. For example, Marines test men with dead-hangs and women with a flex-arm hang.
Army officials are adamant that the new test remain gender-neutral. That means identical events with different scoring standards for men and women.
“If we did the pullups, it would disadvantage the female soldiers, and I’m just not comfortable with that,” Longo said.
• Rower for one minute. Officials looked hard at doubling the rower from one to two minutes. Evaluations showed that the shorter version had a steep bell curve with little variation. But the Fort Bliss evaluation showed the two-minute rower brought little change to the results.
• 60-yard shuttle run. The big change is that this event will be pass/fail, for now. The same is true for the fifth and final event.
• Standing long jump. Soldiers have been less than enthusiastic about this event and the shuttle run. Officials opted for the pass/fail scoring to allow sufficient time for both events to settle into the ranks.
But the Army may apply a scoring scale in the future, Longo said. [Army Times]
Read the rest at the link but does anyone really think that a long jump is going to cause soldiers to become thinner? A PT test shouldn’t be what gets soldiers to lose weight. Promoting a healthy lifestyle which a physical fitness program is part of is what is going to get soldiers to lose weight. It doesn’t help to do PT in the morning and then have soldiers eating unhealthy food in the chow hall or going to Burger King right afterwards. I have always felt that if the Army was serious about making soldiers healthier they would actually create an MOS that trains soldiers to become trainers that run the PT program for the units. These personnel would also be trained to immediately identify and treat PT related injuries. They would also monitor the food soldiers are eating at the dining facilities as well as run the remedial PT and intramural sports programs. If the US Army did something like this then you would know they are serious about helping soldiers become healthier, but this takes money and effort to do; it is much easier to add a long jump and a shuttle run to a PT test and declare the problem fixed.
Here is a final thought; I wonder if SWAN is going to complain about the lack of equality on the new PT test. Isn’t that what they want in the US military, equality?