The White Sands Missile Range force is in great shape, as they proved while participating in the new Army Combat Fitness Test April 28 at Pedro Field.

WSMR leaders and Soldiers were at Pedro Field at 5:30 a.m. to participate in the six events that are part of the new Army Combat Fitness Test. It measures a Soldier’s readiness in the physical domain of the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness system.

The ACFT is a six-event general fitness assessment, with performance-normed standards based on gender and age, using the same groups as the Army Physical Fitness Test.

The events include: 3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift, Hand Release Push-up Arm Extension; Sprint-Drag-Carry, Plank, and Two-Mile Run. The 2.5-mile walk has been added as an alternate event along with the row, bike, and swim.

“The new ACFT is considerably different from the old Army Physical Fitness Test, and it really is testing your ability with skills that you might be expected to do in a combat situation,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little. “For example, the Sprint-Drag-Carry, where you are pulling 90 pounds of weight, is likened to carrying a buddy in combat who may be injured. With six events compared to three, it is an extremely rigorous physical test of the body. At the end of the six events, you have been tested for sure. It is a great physical fitness event.”

On March 23 Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth issued an Army Directive outlining a time-phased implementation of the revised Army Combat Fitness Test as the Army’s general physical fitness test.

Changes made to the ACFT incorporate feedback from Soldiers and independent analysis of test performance.

Among the key changes announced by the Army were new age-and-gender-performance normed scoring scales; the replacement of the leg tuck with the plank for the core-strength assessment; and the addition of the 2.5-mile walk as an alternate aerobic event.

The revised ACFT uses scoring scales that are age and gender normed, like the APFT. The Army designed the new scoring scales from nearly 630,000 ACFT performance scores, historical performance rates from the APFT, and scoring scales used by other military services.

Spc. Johnna Caizan said the new test was tough. “It is a pretty big difference with our rating system changing. The toughest part for me was the Sprint-Drag-Carry, it takes a lot of energy out of you.”

WSMR Chaplain Col. Brian Chepey, who is getting ready to retire at the end of the year, said he wanted to come out and participate in the test because this will be his last test after 26 years in the Army.

“There is something special about coming together with all the Soldiers in an event like this and participating as a team and encouraging each other,” he said. “It has been a privilege serving as a chaplain for 24 years.”

The Army will continue to assess performance data and has established an ACFT governance body to provide oversight of the full implementation of the new test. This structure will assess ACFT scores, pass rates, injuries, and environmental considerations, and report those findings along with any recommended changes to Army Senior Leaders. The first comprehensive assessment will be in April 2023.

The ACFT is a new test after using the APFT for the past 40 years.

Implementation of the new assessment took place on April 1, 2022, when Soldiers continued to take diagnostic tests. The Regular Army and Active Guard Reserve start taking the ACFT for record by Oct. 1, 2022. Reserve Component Soldiers start taking the ACFT for record on April 1, 2023, and all Regular Army and Active Guard Reserved Soldiers must have a record ACFT. Reserve Component Soldiers must have a record ACFT by April 1, 2024.

For more information on the ACFT

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go to https://www.army.mil/acft