FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Soldiers from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital completed a diagnostic Army Combat Fitness Test recently, allowing Soldiers and leadership to gage individual and unit readiness before Oct. 1 when the ACFT becomes the test of record for Soldiers Army-wide.
“This was our second diagnostic ACFT testing. The first one was conducted back in January 2020. This test allowed our Soldiers to get firsthand experience of what the new physical test is all about,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Santiago, BACH’s senior enlisted advisor. “Although the test was diagnostic in nature, the Army won’t take administrative actions against Soldiers for potential ACFT failures currently, instead the passing and failing rate of the test will give local commanders a good baseline assessment of areas that need more attention.”
The new ACFT was designed to better connect fitness with combat readiness and replaces the 40-year old Army Physical Fitness Test. The new test features six events, each related to common Soldier tasks that a Soldier could encounter in combat and assesses those physical abilities.
The test includes a Maximum Deadlift that represents movements required to safely and effectively lift heavy loads; a Standing Power Throw that represents tasks requiring quick explosive movements to maneuver personnel and equipment; a Hand Release Push-up – Arm Extension representing the repetitive and sustained pushing used in combat tasks; a Sprint-Drag-Carry that tests strength, endurance and anaerobic capacity required to accomplish high-intensity combat tasks that last from a few seconds to several minutes; a Two-Mile Run that represents aerobic endurance required for continuous operations and ground movement on foot; and a Leg Tuck that assesses the strength of a Soldier’s grip, arm, shoulder and trunk muscles.
A plank, was authorized earlier this year as an interim assessment in place of the Leg Tuck. It is meant to be a transitioning tool for Soldiers. The Plank event is a core muscle-burning event that can be completed anywhere and does not require additional equipment.
Active-duty Soldiers will take the ACFT twice a year.
Santiago praised his Soldiers who coordinated the diagnostic.
“The commander and I wish to say job well-done to the BACH non-commissioned officers for developing and executing a complete plan to test all of our Soldiers. They were out early each morning during a full week period with four to five ACFT iterations daily while maintaining and enforcing COVID-19 safety guidance of social distancing, masks, and proper equipment and hand disinfection between exercises,” said Santiago.
With BACH’s diagnostic ACFT complete, the data will be inputted into the Army’s Digital Training Management System (DTMS) which may be combined with data from all of the units in the Army to provide Army leaders an opportunity to assess the information.
Army officials announced earlier this year that during the current transition period no adverse administrative action will be taken against a Soldier for failing the ACFT and scores or comments on performance will not be used administratively during the data collection period.
“This gives senior Army leaders the data they need to possibly make any additional modifications to the exercises, adjust scoring, or both,” said Santiago.