The U.S. Army, which was scheduled to implement a new physical fitness test next month, is putting those plans on hold as it conducts further study.
The Army Times first reported the news last Wednesday. In its report, the Army Times said Army officials canceled the test because it failed to measure functional fitness that would prepare soldiers in combat.
Last year, the Army began piloting two new tests, the Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) and the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT) to help soldiers be more prepared for combat. The tests were intended to replace the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) that dates back to 1980. The three-event APFT, given twice a year, requires a soldier to run 2 miles and do sit-ups and push-ups within times appropriate by age and gender.
The new tests later were combined into one five-event test, which consisted of a 60-yard shuttle run, a standing long jump, push-ups, a 1.5-mile run and a rower, similar to a sit-up.
“Emerging factors and changing combat environments demand a thorough understanding before changes are implemented, and thus the decision to retain the current test,” Training and Doctrine Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey said in a statement. “Whatever the new test looks like, it must accurately evaluate fitness levels for all soldiers to decisively win in combat.”
The decision to delay changes to the physical fitness test was based on a recommendation from fitness experts from the Department of Physical Education at U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, and California State University-Fullerton, according to report by The Associated Press. Those fitness experts also said the Army should consider other events that could better predict a soldier’s physical readiness.
A new study, which is expected to begin next month, may or may not result in a recommendation to change the current physical fitness test, The Associated Press reported.