CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 1st Theater Sustainment Command recently held an Army Combat Fitness Test grader validation training at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, enabling readiness for commanders.
The ACFT became the Army’s fitness test of record Oct. 1, replacing the decades old Army Physical Fitness Test, and in order for units across the Army to properly execute the ACFT, Soldiers must receive validation training to administer the new test.
“The desired end state of this course is to not only validate officers and noncommissioned officers in charge, but to also give them the tools necessary to be the lead trainer for their formations,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Smith, 1st TSC G3 training noncommissioned officer, from Santa Maria, California.
There are three grading levels for the ACFT and each level has specific training requirements that each participant must pass in order to receive a certified validation. Smith and his planning team coordinated a level II grader validation which required participants to complete 20-24 hours of course instruction taught by a level III grader.
According to Smith, participants must also, “show they have command presence, have the personal courage to call out deficiencies and show they can properly set up the ACFT testing field.”
Those Soldiers who completed the two-day validation training have the ability to serve as a testing officer/NCO in charge to administer the ACFT, validate testing location, validate the testing equipment to standard, grade the six ACFT events to standard, administer a 90-day record ACFT, and train level I graders with a three-hour validation.
COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and a deployed environment made planning and executing the event challenging, but the trainers were able to successfully validate more than 80 Soldiers from three major commands to include U.S. Army Central, Area Support Group- Kuwait and the 1st TSC.
“Despite the challenges of a COVID-19 environment, we must give be able to significantly increase the readiness of our formations, by being able to plan, prepare and execute our new ACFT,” Smith said.
More validation training is scheduled to happen in Kuwait, but planners and participants at are consistently working to improve the validation process.
“Networking and listening to the various ideas the personnel in the program had are valuable aspects of the training,” said Level II Validation Trainer Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Cabrera, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, from Reseda, California. “The after action reviews played a valuable aspect to see what worked and what we can do to make grading an ACFT more effective.”
For more information on the ACFT, go to the official Army website: https://www.army.mil/acft/. It includes instructions, photos, and videos for each of the events. It also contains instructions, photos, and videos for three different preparatory exercises per event to help Soldiers train.