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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on March 19th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

US Army Could Implement New PT Test Later This Year

» by in: US Military

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?

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  • Leon LaPorte
    4:05 pm on March 19th, 2012 1

    With all the soldiers I see with back, knee and feet problems – the long jump is a good idea? Really?

    I guess the big takeaway from this and other stories I’ve see the last few days is this: Women are ready for combat, but not for an equal PT test. I see, I see…

  • Fanwarrior
    4:40 pm on March 19th, 2012 2

    The scoring discrepancy between men and women was so great that different events would have been required to keep it fair….

    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.

    uhm.. that’s fair? gender neutral? it disadvantages them? How about we just man-up and flat out say that women in general are not as physically capable as men in general and stop lying to ourselves?

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:20 pm on March 19th, 2012 3

    2. BIGOT!

  • Tom
    6:58 pm on March 19th, 2012 4

    Run harder fatso! :lol:

    You have to be kidding. Just look at how out of shape you guys are. Too much burgers fattening your bottom seats? If it isn’t sitting half your time in the tanks and calling in airstrikes, the Afghan guerillas would have overrun you guys by now. Complaining about a mile and a half run because that’s too hard? You got to be serious. :lol: You guys are a disgrace to all soldiers of this world. :lol:

  • kangaji
    7:01 pm on March 19th, 2012 5

    I think doing the rower properly will add another layer of subjectivity besides the push-up. The long jump? That’s because every officer and their mother wants a German physical fitness badge – so it must be a good idea. ’cause we all know how Germany sends most of their force on repeated deployments and their knees can handle it.

  • kangaji
    7:03 pm on March 19th, 2012 6

    Well, we can rule out Tom being Chinese MI.

  • Lazy_Contractor
    7:55 pm on March 19th, 2012 7

    @4
    Last I checked, 1.5 miles < 2 miles. I think any complaints would be about the 2 miler, not he shorter run.
    @2
    Oh please. Have you ever worked with a (motivated) female soldier? I agree there are some bad apples amung them – but that goes for the men too.

  • Vince
    8:09 pm on March 19th, 2012 8

    > 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. <

    The Army has, or at least had, a program which certified Master Fitness Trainers which does just what you call for. It was at Ft Ben Harrison 20 years ago, and has since moved to Ft Benning.

    But it is up to commanders to use them correctly.

  • Kingkitty
    8:23 pm on March 19th, 2012 9

    Yes Vince and that new PT trainer MOS Soldier would be put in the training room or the orderly room and would not get off work until 8pm each day

  • Vince
    11:02 pm on March 19th, 2012 10

    Exactly!

    We have come SO far….

  • Jinro Dukkohbi
    4:10 am on March 20th, 2012 11

    They got rid of Master Fitness Trainer a long time ago, I believe. Not even a peep of it on the Benning website anymore…

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    4:37 am on March 20th, 2012 12

    @8 – The Master Fitness program was not a specific MOS. I am talking about soldiers specifically trained in fitness and sports medicine. I am willing to bet that personnel dedicated to running a PT program, immediately treating injuries, doing nutritional counseling, running a remedial PT program, etc. would do a lot for improving the overall fitness of the force and more importantly reducing profiles.

    I envision one preferably two personnel per company level unit which would lead to the need of one company of these soldiers per brigade. Per Division this would be one battalion of personnel. Like I said this takes personnel and money to do so it won’t be done. That is why we will be doing long jumps instead and claim the problem fixed.

  • kangaji
    5:59 am on March 20th, 2012 13

    I think the NCOIC with that MOS would go insane from on post regulations insisting that everything be one IAW Army Physical Readiness Training.

  • Dean S. Robinson
    6:12 am on March 20th, 2012 14

    The army, fitness wise, seems to have made considerable progress since ’78. We used to run in fatigues & boots (don’t ask me why), but now the focus seems to be on actual physical fitness. I understand most of what is required, but I’m just not sure I dig the standing broad jump. I don’t quite see where it fits in with strength and endurance. That being said, I have noticed more…hhmmm…Rubenesque enlisted personnel who, I’m certain, would have been on the weight control program back in the day. Given the military’s progress on physical fitness, has there been a corresponding focus on weight control as well?

  • Fanwarrior
    8:47 am on March 20th, 2012 15

    #7 if it wasn’t true, they wouldn’t need different standards.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/MilMed.shtml

    Fred has a great summary of it
    There are certain things in this world which are simply true. They may not fit into the PC kool-aid, but pretending they’re not real doesn’t do anyone justice or create a “fair” situation for anyone.

  • Retired GI
    10:20 am on March 20th, 2012 16

    W.A.C. It worked well. Females are not (physically) equal to males. Sorry, just a fact.

    If you want an equal PT test, make it volleyball.

    They still don’t have a test for Lower back strength?

  • concerned soldier
    2:26 pm on March 20th, 2012 17

    Women’s Army Corps.

    Women don’t hold up physically like males do. They aren’t built for the strain a soldier endures. The more we make things “gender neutral” the more advantage we give an enemy who is in better physical shape than we are as an army. Don’t get me wrong, women do very well with what they are physically capable to do. But after 10 years a woman’s body doesn’t hold up like a man’s body. I have worked with a lot of female soldiers, and made mission every time. But I don’t think mission was made as well as it could have been considering the factors that females bring to the table, ie… pregnancy and other physical issues. 3/4 women on my last deployment left early cuz they got pregnant. I don’t think its their fault necessarily for being pregnant ( it takes two ) but they left for home while the baby daddy stayed the rest of the deployment and continued to make mission. Bottom line is UNITY is important and we lose it everytime a unit makes changes and exceptions for anyone. We should do what we can to keep things unified.

    That starts with the simplest things like a PT TEST. All one scoring table. If you fail, you fail. Man or Woman.

  • Vince
    4:03 pm on March 20th, 2012 18

    MFTs did not have a specific MOS, but they did have an additional skill identifier. Only issue is that I don’t think there were any positions ever coded for it!

    The flip side of that coin is that all leaders should, by example, set the example for physical fitness and readiness. This, like gun fighting, of course, is rarely the case.

    The PT ritual has become overcome by all the typical chicken sh!t, like ensuring everyone is shaved at PT formation, has his PT shirt tucked in, sock uniformity, etc. So then we get to everyone doing the same dumbed down mass produced McDonald’s of PT in unison. Those who need to PT get smoked, those who are in good shape get their time wasted (and stress fractures), and “leaders” get to check the block. We could have done better than that. Still, in the late 70s and early 80s, big Army actually DID manage to institutionalize PT, albeit at this dumbed down standard. I can remember many people running around with large guts and big porn staches and Elvis sideburns in my younger days. The 70s wasn’t just about polyester and disco!

  • Tom Langley
    5:34 pm on March 20th, 2012 19

    When I first enlisted in 1976 there was a 5 event PT test. There was push ups, sit ups, overhead ladders, the run, dodge, & jump(this was a event where you ran in a figure 8 pattern around 2 barriers) or a crab walk, & the run. As I remember sometimes you would be tested on the run, dodge, & jump, & sometimes they would test you on the crab walk. I think the run was a mile but my memory might be faulty. By the time you got to test on the run you were already exhausted. If anyone knows would the rowing event be how many repetitions you would do on a rowing machine in a minute? I don’t see the point of the standing broad jump. If you are tall no matter if you are physically fit or not you will do well & the opposite if you are short. I would hope there would be different standards for different heights but I doubt that. The shuttle run sounds like a good idea. When I was stationed at HAAF in Savannah, GA we had to swim across a pool in full uniform, that was a mother.

  • Tom Langley
    7:44 pm on March 20th, 2012 20

    I did some internet research and learned that the rowing event is a type of exercise. This new PT test seems to more accurately reflect the actual physical requirements of combat.

  • Teadrinker
    7:19 am on March 21st, 2012 21

    Ok, fess up…How many of you could afford to lose some weight?

    :lol:

  • Fanwarrior
    4:04 pm on March 21st, 2012 22

    Gee Leon..nothing else to say? What a shame..

  • Glans
    4:23 am on March 29th, 2012 23

    Don’t miss the the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation’s ‘Strive for Strength’ on April 2.

  • William
    4:19 pm on September 4th, 2012 24

    The rower sound like it will make Army invest in a boatload of rowing machines just to do the APFT everywhere. The current APFT can be conducted anywhere without special equipment other than a stopwatch and clipboards. Mats if done inside, which every gym has a lot of.

    I do not see the Army going to a PT test that requires additional equipment. Even if it does, just think of the cluster-mess it will create when different units try to do APFT and compete for resources.

  • Retired GI
    5:16 pm on September 4th, 2012 25

    Deadman carry only requires another soldier… (lower back)

  • BBBBBBBBBBell
    5:20 pm on September 4th, 2012 26

    The rower does not require a machine.

  • MTB Rider
    6:19 pm on September 4th, 2012 27

    @25:

    Should there be a minimum weight or a ratio of weight between soldiers?

    Had a friend in the Navy, Pat K, who weighed MAYBE a buck fifteen, but was 6’2″
    (His nickname was Stickman or Stick)
    I was 5’10″ and 185. I could easily hoist him onto my back and run 100 yards, but the reverse was not true.

    Needless to say, everybody that wasn’t in great shape wanted to carry Pat…

  • Kingkitty
    12:48 am on September 5th, 2012 28

    Its two or three years of PRT right out of basic that is killing our fitness standards

 

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