Senior leaders review proposed Army PT test
May 17, 2011
More than 50 senior leaders participated in and gave feedback on the proposed Army Physical Readiness Test at Camp Victory, May 7.
The morning's event started with demonstrations of the preparation drills and exercises followed by the APRT events.
This was a great familiarization opportunity for all the senior noncommissioned officers to see what the Army is trying to implement, said Sgt. Maj. Carlos Gomez, senior enlisted advisor, Task Force Dragon, United States Forces-Iraq.
Unlike the Army Physical Fitness Test, which has been used since 1980 and is scored on three events, the new test is comprised of five events and incorporates preparation drills. The new test includes a 60-yard shuttle run, rower, standing long jump, push-up and a 1.5-mile run.
According to the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School website, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command started pilot-testing the APRT in March at nine locations. Once complete, a thorough assessment of the pilot programs will help establish the new standards.
It's an opportunity to give the senior enlisted Soldiers a time to evaluate the process and give honest feedback, both positive and negative, to those at TRADOC who are conducting the training, said Gomez.
The new test is designed to mirror tasks that may be demanded of Soldiers while on the battlefield, and paint a more accurate picture of a Soldier's physical capability.
Basic training and advanced individual training Soldiers are currently doing the exercises contained in the Army Physical Readiness Training program, and studies are showing that the new exercises have raised test scores under the old standard, said 1st Sgt. Garton Francis, first sergeant, Headquarters Support Company, USF-I. This shows that these exercises work, he said.
More than two hours after the start of the event, the Soldiers were given the opportunity to voice their opinions about the new test during the after action review.
The preparation drills are more motivating, but will cause Soldiers to put more effort into the whole process, said Warrant Officer Valencia A. Hollobaugh, property accounting technician, TF Dragon, USF-I . "I'm excited to see how it's going to turn out. I think the feedback from all the Soldiers and the leaders is going to be good for the Army."
"I think overall the sergeants major and senior leaders enjoyed the experience," said Gomez. "It is definitely a different experience. There are a lot of cross-fit-type exercises, so it's going to take a while for us senior leaders to get out of our old habits and our old ways of thinking."
"It's a beautiful program," said Francis. "It exercises all the muscles of the body."
Regardless of the events in the APRT test, being physically fit is part of being a Soldier.
"It's a personal challenge to stay fit, and it's a personal responsibility as well as a responsibility of leaders," said Hollobaugh. "I advise Soldiers to take it upon themselves to be physically fit."