New Army PT Tests: Army Physical Readiness Test, Army Combat Readiness Test

Monday April 25, 2011

What is it?

Since 1980, the U.S. Army has assessed a Soldier's physical ability through the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Commonly known as the "PT Test," Soldiers are required to complete three events; two-minutes of pushups, two-minutes of sit-ups, and a two-mile run. Together, these events lack the ability to adequately measure components of muscular strength, endurance, or mobility needed for success on today's battlefield. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is currently piloting two tests better aligned with Army Physical Readiness Training outlined in new Training Circular 3.22-20 (log-in required).

The Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) is planned to replace the current test with five events; a 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute of push-ups, one-minute of the rower, a standing long-jump, and a 1.5-mile run. These events will more accurately test a Soldiers anaerobic and aerobic endurance while reducing the risk of injuries.

TRADOC is also recommending Soldiers take the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT), which incorporates warrior tasks and provides a more accurate assessment of the physical readiness training program and the Soldier's individual capability. The ACRT will be executed in ACUs, ACH, and weapon, and includes a 400-meter run, hurdles, a high crawl, casualty drag, sprints, and other movement drills.

What has the Army done?

As a part of the Soldier Athlete initiative, emphasizing physical readiness, performance nutrition, and injury prevention, the Army overhauled its dated physical training philosophy to one that prepares Soldiers for conditions faced on today's battlefields.

In 2010, Training Circular 3-22.20 (Army Physical Readiness Training) replaced Field Manual 21-20 (Physical Fitness Training) providing exercises, drills and activities appropriate for various levels of physical fitness. The APRT and ACRT are designed to correlate with readiness training and provide a more accurate picture of a Soldier's ability to perform Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.

What efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army will begin pilot testing at approximately eight locations with multiple units in order to set standards.

The pilot currently plans to align age categories for the test scores with the American College of Sports Medicine and Cooper Institute, broadening age categories to under 30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and above, for both genders. Following the establishment of standards and a thorough review, the tests can then be implemented Army-wide.

Why is this important to the Army?

Soldiers will be better prepared if they train how they would fight. The APRT and ACRT will align with tasks Soldiers perform on the battlefield providing the commander a tool to measure preparedness and guiding future training.

Implementing the new tests is the final step in the Soldier Athlete initiative to better prepare Soldiers for strenuous training and the challenges of full-spectrum operations.

Resources:

TRADOC revises Army Physical Fitness Test

STAND-TO! Aug. 17, 2010: Soldier Athlete Initiative

Log-in required: Training Circular 3.22-20 Physical Readiness Training

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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Today’s PT test does not adequately measure components of strength, endurance, or mobility. The events have a low correlation to the performance of warrior tasks and battle drills and are not strong predictors of successful physical performance on the battlefield or in full-spectrum operations."

-Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, TRADOC’s deputy commanding general for Initial Military Training

TRADOC revises Army Physical Fitness Test

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