FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A Mobile Training Team from the Army Physical Fitness School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina traveled to Fort Campbell to train 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) leaders how to properly conduct the upcoming service-wide Army Combat Fitness Test, April 5-11.
The ACFT is set to soon replace the Army Physical Fitness Test, which has been the Army physical fitness measurement standard since 1980. The new test includes six events: maximum deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck and a two-mile Run.
The MTT is visiting Army installations around the world to help Soldiers prepare and train for the new Army fitness standard.
"The purpose of this week's event is to train [non-commissioned officers] and junior officers on the ACFT, so they can go back to their units and prepare them once the ACFT is a test of record," said 1st Lt. Laura Thompson, ACFT MTT officer in charge.
First, the MTT personnel briefed commanders and senior leaders from all across Fort Campbell about changes to the test.
"The Army is changing its culture of fitness," said Thompson. "It's important that senior leaders understand that."
Sgt. Maj. Vivian Richards, 101st Abn. Div. intelligence senior enlisted leader, said this is a significant evolution for the Army.
"The biggest take away for me as a sergeant major is making sure that everything is properly resourced in a way that gives our Soldiers the best opportunity to pass every single one of the events," Richards explained.
Although senior leaders wouldn't typically administer or grade an ACFT, it is still important for them to understand the tactical significance of the events to assess their units' levels of readiness. To assess with that readiness, the Army is providing ACFT trainers on three levels.
During the MTT training, Selected Master Fitness Course graduates used their knowledge of exercise science to earn Level Three ACFT Trainer Certification. Also, the MTT trained Level One and Level Two Soldiers how to execute all ACFT events, administer the ACFT and enforce ACFT grading procedures.
Thompson said it is best for unit commanders to utilize these newly trained Soldiers and invest into this test as much as possible to prepare all Soldiers within their formations for the upcoming ACFT.
Staff Sgt. Mandy Daniels said she agrees with the direction the Army is going with physical fitness. Daniels serves with the 372nd Inland Cargo Transportation Company, 101st Abn. Div. Sustainment Brigade.
"Army wide, it's going to be more based on calisthenics and using gym equipment," said Daniels. "We are starting to engage different muscle groups with these exercises."
Daniels also said the test aims to be a more practical approach to gauge the Soldiers' strengths and weaknesses in regards to speed, agility, flexibility and overall combat readiness.
Another team is scheduled to return to Fort Campbell August 2019.