Several U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, completed their first Army Combat Fitness Test earlier today at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The ACFT is a new Army fitness test that will replace the current Army Physical Fitness Test in 2020. It has been in development for several years among testing battalions, and aims to better connect fitness with combat readiness across the Army.
Warrant Officer 1 Casey Arblaster, a master fitness trainer from the 475th Quartermaster Group, led the ACFT train-to-train session this morning. Master Sgt. Felipe Pacheco, a 92A Automated Logistical Specialist from the 316th ESC, organized the event in order to implement ACFT training at the 316th Headquarters Company over the next several months.
316th ESC Soldiers completed the maximum deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-up, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck, and two-mile run events over a period of two hours, while graders from the 475th QM evaluated their performance.
Soldiers found that the ACFT events engaged their legs, backs, and shoulders much more than the existing APFT. Another key difference was the absence of different grading standards for male and female Soldiers.
"The enemy doesn't discriminate between genders," said Arblaster. "The test has a lot of tactical carryover."
"I think this test is more fun, morale is going to be higher, and people do enjoy taking it," continued Arblaster. "But it is a very technical test."
She also added her impression that most soldiers likely will struggle with the leg tuck event.
Sgt. Alisha Wartluft, a 68E Dental Specialist with the 316th ESC who completed the ACFT, agreed, but stated, "I like it better than the [APFT] sit-ups."
"It's a big change," said Sgt. John Stakeley, a 92A Automated Logistical Specialist, who also completed the test.
"It will probably enhance the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities of the unit," continued Stakeley. "I think the outcomes will be good and we'll have a stronger force,"
The 316th ESC is at JBMDL for a Command Post Exercise-Functional, while the 475th QM, a subordinate group, is here for the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise. The 316th ESC is a command of 89 Army Reserve combat service support units with approximately 8,000 Soldiers across the Northeast. Combat readiness is a priority due to the rapid response nature of the command.