Army aims for more combat-ready troops with new fitness test: So much for not using ground pounders in future wars

Comment by Jim Campbell

February 7th, 2019

Apparently the United States Army Command has made a decision to continue to use our men and women as cannon fodder in future wars.

This seems odd in light of the newer technology from the use on drones, U.S. Navy Battle Ships and planes flying from U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers.



Of course our military would need “Sit/Reps”  (Situation Reports) which would be handled by U.S Navy SEALS, Delta Force or Marine Recon.


This begs the question, will the U.S. Marine Corps be upping their training requirements as well?




Origin of the word “Ruck.” (Source)

Army Times

U.S Army troops in training to become instructors, participate in the new Army combat fitness test at the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade compound at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The new test is designed to be a more accurate test of combat readiness than the present requirements. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Army soldiers struggle to haul heavy sleds backward as fast as they can down a grassy field at Fort Bragg, filling the brisk North Carolina morning air with grunts of exertion and the shouts of instruction from their coaches.


U.S Army 1st Lt. Mitchel Hess participates in a weight lifting drill while preparing to be an instructor in the new Army combat fitness test at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The new test is designed to be a more accurate test of combat readiness than the current requirements. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Watching from the sidelines, Sgt. Maj. Harold Sampson shakes his head. As a military intelligence specialist he spends a lot of time behind a desk.

Over his two decades in the Army, he could easily pound out the sit ups, pushups and 2-mile run that for years have made up the service’s fitness test.


But change has come.

The Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat.

“I am prepared to be utterly embarrassed,” Sampson said on a recent morning, two days before he was to take the test.

Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren’t fit enough.

Nearly half of the commanders surveyed last year said new troops coming into their units could not meet the physical demands of combat.

Officials also say about 12 percent of soldiers at any one time cannot deploy because of injuries.

In addition, there has long been a sense among many senior officials that the existing fitness test does not adequately measure the physical attributes needed for the battlefield, said Gen. Stephen Townsend, head of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

The new test, “may be harder, but it is necessary,” Townsend said.

Reaching the new fitness levels will be challenging. Unlike the old fitness test, which graded soldiers differently based on age and gender, the new one will be far more physically demanding and will not adjust the passing scores for older or female soldiers.

For example, in the current test — two minutes of sit ups, two minutes of push ups, a 2-mile run — younger soldiers must do more repetitions and run faster to pass and get maximum scores than those who are older or female.

Townsend said the new test was designed based on scientific research that matched specific exercises to tasks that soldiers in combat must do: sprint away from fire, carry a wounded comrade on a stretcher, haul cans of fuel to a truck.

The scoring is divided into three levels that require soldiers with more physically demanding jobs, such as infantry or armor, to score higher.

“We needed to change the culture of fitness in the United States Army.

We had a high number of non-deployable soldiers that had a lot of muscular/skeletal injuries and medical challenges because we hadn’t trained them from a fitness perspective in the right way,” said Army Maj. Gen.

Malcolm Frost, commander of the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training and the officer in charge of developing the new fitness test.

“The goal is about a having a more combat-ready army.”

Frost said that about one-third of the soldiers who come into the service leave before their third year, many because of muscular skeletal injuries.

The new test, he said, will help screen out recruits who are less physically fit and mentally disciplined.

Those who make the cut are more likely to stay in the service.

It will also challenge senior officers such as Sampson, who have done less physical desk jobs.

“It breaks the mindset of ‘I am an intel soldier,‘” said Sampson.

“It changes it to ‘I am a soldier,’ because bullets on the battlefield don’t discriminate.”

The Associated Press was with Frost on a recent sunny Tuesday as he watched soldiers from three battalions go through the test.

The six events take nearly an hour and are done in order with only a few minutes rest in between:

—a dead lift, with weights between 140 pounds and 340 pounds.

—a standing power throw, which requires soldiers to throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead.

—hand-release pushups, completing as many as possible in two minutes.

—the “sprint-drag-carry” that includes a 50-yard sprint, a 50-yard backward sled drag, a 50-yard lateral, where soldiers shuttle sideways down the lane and back, a 50-yard carry of two 40-pound kettle bells and a 50-yard sprint.

—after a short rest, the soldiers do the leg tuck pull ups, as many as possible in two minutes.

—a 2-mile run.

“Many folks find it easy to do the maximum standard for the current test,” Frost said. “This new test is gender and age neutral. I cannot max this test.”

Across the country, 63 battalions are working on the final test development and will eventually go back to their units and train others. By Oct. 1, the entire Army will be using the test. By October 2020, it will be the official exam that all soldiers will have to pass.

Technique is key to success.

As the soldiers lined up to fling the medicine ball back over their heads, coaches stood by ready to shove them out-of-the-way if the ball went straight up and came right back down.

The first throws landed with a chorus of thuds; many throws fell short. But the second and third tries went farther as soldiers figured out when to release the ball.

Next they quickly moved to push ups.

Crouched beside a soldier straining to master the hand-release, Frost shouts out encouragement and then drops down to demonstrate proper form.

Each time the soldier lowers his body, both hands must quickly lift off the ground and immediately press back down for the next push up.

A few lanes away, Staff Sgt. Idis Arroyo, has started what most consider the toughest element, the sprint-drag-carry.

Pulling the 90-pound sled backward down the lane, her feet slip and she stumbles.

“C’mon get up! Get up, pull, pull!” a coach yells.

Arroyo bounces up, drags it to the end and shifts quickly to the next movement.

How hard was it?

Please see the entire article below.


“It was pretty difficult,” said Arroyo, who is with the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion.

“Once we got into the sprint-drag-carry and then sprint again and the laterals and all that, I think that was actually the hardest part.”

But she said she knows it will help her when she has to embed with a combat unit.

Commanders said the test will be harder at first for less fit soldiers or longtime veterans, who are in less physical jobs, and many may fail at first.

But they said that over time, as soldiers adjust and get stronger, their scores will improve.

Lt. Col. Eric Haas, commander of Arroyo’s battalion, watched as his soldiers powered through the test.

He said it was very telling to watch fit leaders struggle.

“This is a good assessment of where we are physically,” Haas said. “For years I’ve been taking the Army physical fitness test and that’s the most miserable I think I’ve seen a 2-mile finish line.”

Sampson, who is also with the 519th battalion and has deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan, said improving fitness will make his soldiers more prepared to do their jobs.

“It doesn’t matter that 90 percent of the time I may sit in a chair working behind a computer,” he said.

“I’m going to have to move a person from point A to point B.”

As for his expected embarrassment on the test?

He scored well and passed.



About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement. Obama nearly destroyed our country economically, militarily coupled with his racism he set us further on the march to becoming a Socialist State. Now it's up to President Trump to restore America to prominence. Republicans who refuse to go along with most of his agenda RINOs must be forced to walk the plank, they are RINOs and little else.
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2 Responses to Army aims for more combat-ready troops with new fitness test: So much for not using ground pounders in future wars

  1. JAFC says:

    The standardized (all services) PT test was simplified about 1979. In addition to sit-ups, push-ups, and a two mile run, it used to contain parallel bars, run-dodge-jump, inverted crawl, and many other wonderful fun things, Apparently DoD has simply gone retro, back to when more was demanded physically of the troops. Volunteers these days tend to have grown up around daily gym visits, so this is long over due.


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