If you are in the Army, unless you have been living under a rock, you know the ACFT is here. For over a year now, big Army has been talking about and field testing their new Combat Fitness Test. The test is 6 events and measures full body strength plus endurance.
The six events are 3-rep maximum deadlift, standing power throw, arm-extension pushup, sprint-drag-carry, hanging leg tuck, and the good ol’ 2-mile run for time. The test will be gender and age non-specific and needs to be completed in under an hour. Alternate events are still being identified, as initially, there were not going to be any allowed. (Yes, that was true. Army got smart though and didn’t want to lose 3/4ths of it’s force.)
While being a 30 year old male or 50 year old female won’t matter, what will matter will be your MOS and the type of unit you’re in. There are 3 levels of standard and your job in the Army will determine which level you are required to maintain.
While there are still some changes to the complete standard getting made, rest assured, this test isn’t going anywhere. It is the first time since 1980 that the Army has changed their physical fitness test and let’s just say this is a 180 degree of a difference. The ACFT is here to make, or break, soldiers as a whole.
Over the next year, soldiers in all three Army components (Active, Guard and Reserve) will be required to take the test twice, just like the current physical fitness test. There will be challenges to commands as they attempt this and there are still some obstacles to overcome. One of these- equipment across the components.
The ACFT requires very specific equipment for each event, and that equipment isn’t just laying around in every unit’s supply room. The goal is to have all the major commands and building managers equipped by the new year. Smaller units will have to work with larger units and building managers to ensure they acquire the equipment or take the test with that unit.
While there is a lot of uncertaintly amongst the soldiers themselves about the test; the Army says training for and implementing this test will significantly help their force to become even more ready and lethal for combat. They plan on replacing the current APFT completely in October 2020.
So what does this mean? Well, it means start training, especially if you plan on joining the Army after October 1st. New recruits and those headed to schools will be taking this test during their stay at their concurrent schoolhouse.
How can you train? Well, the Army created a website showing each exercise, the current standards and training requirements, found here. There are also quite a few fitness companies that are releasing multi-week programs aimed at getting prepared for the ACFT and including the different events.
We can guarantee that if you aim to do the minimum on the current APFT… you need to change your tactics just a little bit to get at this one. Ultimately, you will have to train if you want any chance of passing this test.