Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

    By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer
    Posted : Monday Feb 13, 2012 7:31:15 EST

    FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Your new fitness test will be the toughest in Army history, if Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler has his way.

    You’ll have to run up to four miles in 36 minutes or less, and do a 12-mile ruck march in four hours or less.

    The longer run would be a better test of endurance and a “gut check,” Chandler said. The ruck march would ensure soldiers are ready and able to meet any challenge they may face.

    “Maintaining status quo is not good enough,” Chandler said.

    With jaw set and a stern voice, Chandler shared his plan with roughly 650 soldiers at a town hall meeting here in January. The announcement was met with a mixture of laughter and enthusiastic “hoo-ahs!” Chandler was neither distracted nor diverted by either response. With emphatic determination, he said the Army’s weight problems and fitness failures will come to an end.

    Chandler said the Army is about 33 percent fatter than it was 10 years ago. He said some soldiers look like “stuffed sausages” and it’s not because uniform sizes have shrunk. The problem, he said, is that the Army’s body-fat allowance is the most lenient among the services. In fact, the Army allows a level of body fat the American Health Association labels as “obese.” Army standards go as high as 26 percent for men and 36 percent for women, both of which are but a short step from morbidly obese. That is a critical step, as it quickly leads to lasting health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

    “We are not going to accept obesity as a standard in our Army anymore,” Chandler said.

    A four-mile run would be, by far, the toughest annual test among the armed services — a mile more than Marines must run. For a comparison, see the accompanying chart.

    Chandler said he was not sure whether the ruck march would reach the air assault or expert infantry badge standard. The air assault ruck march is done with full gear, a 30-pound ruck and rifle. The EIB march, largely considered the tougher of the two, has a 35-pound ruck and typically tougher terrain. Both have a three-hour limit.

    The SMA also questioned whether the new shuttle run and long jump should remain as part of the new fitness test. The long jump is a “great measurement of leg strength but not necessarily what we want to measure,” Chandler said. He added that the shuttle run is far more difficult for older soldiers who are not as agile as they once were. In an event in which pass and fail are separated by a few seconds, that could prove disastrous.

    Chandler did not offer suggestions for exercises that could replace those two.

    What remains to be seen is whether test designers will heed Chandler’s desires. Training and Doctrine Command will present its formal recommendations to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno later this month. Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, who is leading the change, said he would not comment until TRADOC makes its final decision.

    Getting it right
    This is not the first attempt to toughen up the new test, which was introduced last year.

    The first iteration started with five events: a 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute rower, standing long jump, one-minute push-up and 1.5-mile run.

    Officials spent six months testing more than 10,000 soldiers at eight locations. Results proved the new test was harder than the current one but not exactly a smoker.

    The average basic training male knocked out 36 push-ups in one minute, 33 rowers in one minute and ran an 11:02 in the 1.5-mile run. In the current test, male trainees averaged 49 push-ups, 62 sit-ups and a two-mile run time of 15:09.

    The average basic training female soldier hit 19 push-ups in one minute, 31 rowers in one minute and finished the 1.5-mile run at 13:12. In the current test, female trainees averaged 39 push-ups, 61 sit-ups and a two-mile run time of 16:37.

    Longo told Army Times three key changes were under consideration as evaluations wrapped up:

    • The addition of dead-hang pull-ups to replace push-ups. This is considered a better measurement of strength needed for combat drills, but it also presents problems. Namely, officials are adamant that the new test remain gender-neutral, with identical events for men and women. There will be different scoring standards based on physiological differences, but female soldiers would be required to do dead-hang pull-ups.

    “The average [for women] might be three or four pull-ups,” Longo said at the time. “Excellent might be seven. Poor might be one. So that means each additional pull-up might be worth 25 points. I don’t know if that’s what we want.”

    • Double the rower from one to two minutes. Evaluations showed that the shorter version had a steep bell curve with little variation. The idea is that extending the rower to two minutes will better measure the difference between a soldier with good overall body fitness and one who can bust out a high number in one minute but is spent afterward.

    • Return to a two-mile run. The changes resulted from an analysis of statistical data and comments from the rank and file, said Longo, who serves as deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training. Although the shorter run is arguably the best measure for cardiovascular fitness, many soldiers and commanders said the extra half-mile measures the heart.

    Odierno’s decision is expected by April. If he opts to go with a new fitness test, you can expect a six-month transition and full implementation by Oct. 1.

  • #2
    Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

    **** yea! I'm behind this! I highly doubt that we will see this happen but I've long been an advocate for a longer than 2 mile run. The ruck march isn't a bad idea either but you can't do both in the same day. The ruck march should fall under the combat rediness portion of the test if anything. There are not many soldiers in the Army, even those who are 300 players who can blow away the PT test and then right away ruck 12 miles, even if it is in 4 hours.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

      Originally posted by SGT Juggernaut View Post
      **** yea! I'm behind this! I highly doubt that we will see this happen but I've long been an advocate for a longer than 2 mile run. The ruck march isn't a bad idea either but you can't do both in the same day. The ruck march should fall under the combat rediness portion of the test if anything. There are not many soldiers in the Army, even those who are 300 players who can blow away the PT test and then right away ruck 12 miles, even if it is in 4 hours.
      Great. 1 IDT to deal with the ridiculousness of PHAs, another one just to do some sort of "improved" APFT. A few more IDTs to do all the lame administrative stuff pushed down by NGB, the state, etc, individual weapon qualifications, simulators such as EST2000. Meanwhile, the time to do important things such as fire team, squad, and platoon battle drills are put on the back burner.

      While this may be a great test, it won't actually improve readiness because the main problem is the vast majority of soldiers won't care about it enough to take it seriously. Many cannot even pass the current version of the APFT.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

        Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
        While this may be a great test, it won't actually improve readiness because the main problem is the vast majority of soldiers won't care about it enough to take it seriously. Many cannot even pass the current version of the APFT.
        But if they don't pass it than they could be kicked out so wouldn't that make them care enough to take it seriously?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

          Booooo!!! I hate running....but I can ruck like a champ thanks to my long legs and skids for feet!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

            Ah, see on the ruck march chaplains will not be carrying weapons, therefore they will be leading from the front. JK.

            I would perfer powerlifting as the APFT: A combination of squats, deadlift, and benchpress for a passing score, then followed by a leisurely stroll.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

              Originally posted by o13starsnstripes View Post
              But if they don't pass it than they could be kicked out so wouldn't that make them care enough to take it seriously?
              You would think so... but I have, unfortunately, seen a decent number of soldiers that did not care. It is not a great loss though because these are the same soldiers that do not show up for drill anyways.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                You would think so... but I have, unfortunately, seen a decent number of soldiers that did not care. It is not a great loss though because these are the same soldiers that do not show up for drill anyways.
                Hence being kicked out for being awol!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                  Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
                  Ah, see on the ruck march chaplains will not be carrying weapons, therefore they will be leading from the front. JK.

                  I would perfer powerlifting as the APFT: A combination of squats, deadlift, and benchpress for a passing score, then followed by a leisurely stroll.
                  They could always do the Secret Service Snatch Test.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                    We don't need all this new silliness. We have plenty of people who can't pass the current standards. If they want to downsize (even though that is mostly Regular Army) all we need to do is actually ENFORCE the current standards. How many commanders actually follow the requirements of initiating a separation packet upon two consecutive PT Failures? How many commanders even knew that was a REQUIREMENT? How many HT/WT failures are not in the weight program? How come when promotion time comes around PT Cards magically fall out of the sky and SGT Fatty went from a 160 to a 250 in 3 weeks??

                    Making a new system wont police up the current one. Policing up the current one will, well.....police up the current one. It's really too easy. Get your unit paralegals involved and we will make some soldiers disappear as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                      Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                      We don't need all this new silliness. We have plenty of people who can't pass the current standards. If they want to downsize (even though that is mostly Regular Army) all we need to do is actually ENFORCE the current standards. How many commanders actually follow the requirements of initiating a separation packet upon two consecutive PT Failures? How many commanders even knew that was a REQUIREMENT? How many HT/WT failures are not in the weight program? How come when promotion time comes around PT Cards magically fall out of the sky and SGT Fatty went from a 160 to a 250 in 3 weeks??

                      Making a new system wont police up the current one. Policing up the current one will, well.....police up the current one. It's really too easy. Get your unit paralegals involved and we will make some soldiers disappear as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3.
                      On the subject, aren't ADOS/AGR types suppose to continue to pass the APFT in order to keep their fulltime jobs? If so, I knew a person or two that had to have evaded that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                        Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
                        On the subject, aren't ADOS/AGR types suppose to continue to pass the APFT in order to keep their fulltime jobs? If so, I knew a person or two that had to have evaded that.
                        Yes they do. And I too know a bunch that are scamming that one.

                        The 4 mile run would be awesome, a much better test of cardio vascular endurance. The 12 mile ruck is also great but I find the 4 hour time limit to be weak sauce considering the current infantry standard is 3 hours. Maybe instead of a full 12 miles require a 6 mile ruck in 1.5 hours. This can be taken once a year as part of the newly proposed combat readiness test. In combat arms we pretty much do this already anyways(12 mile) except there is no ********** or reward for meeting or exceeding the standards. Well, except for maybe placing higher on a meaningless OML list.

                        The 4 mile run to replace the existing 2 mile will require more test time but not another drill day, more like 20-30 minutes. The ruck march can certainly eat into training time but the newly preposed combat rediness test is going to do that anyways. Besides, there should be at least one other home station drill during the year that has unit PT as part of the trainng schedule seperate from the yearly APFT anyway so its not really creating that much of a burden.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                          Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
                          On the subject, aren't ADOS/AGR types suppose to continue to pass the APFT in order to keep their fulltime jobs? If so, I knew a person or two that had to have evaded that.
                          They are required to take the APFT more often because of their Active Duty status. They must test once every six months. I believe traditional guardsman are once every 12. Either way the regulation doesn't differ. A seperation packet is supposed to be initiated on two consecutive record PT failures. Problem is, no one seems to do it. This doesn't neccessarily mean that the soldier gets seperated, but the start of the process is not supposed to be an option, because it isn't supposed to be up to the company/unit command. It is supposed to be the seperation autority who makes the choice. Just doesn't ever happen in guard land, it is in black and white though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                            You know being at the 101st like me; once you earned your wings, you were then allotted 4 hours to complete twelve miles. I think it is becoming ludicrous with different PT criteria across the Army when a service that we know has been doing it right. Back in the day, the Army had five events for the test and shortened it to three due to constraints. Simply create a test that aligns on what fitness experts determined on what are the best gauges for strength and endurance and get rid of the soldiers who are in violation of weight and misconduct issues. New leadership always tries to re-invent the wheel.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SMA wants 4-mile run, 12-mile march for PT test

                              Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                              We don't need all this new silliness. We have plenty of people who can't pass the current standards. If they want to downsize (even though that is mostly Regular Army) all we need to do is actually ENFORCE the current standards. How many commanders actually follow the requirements of initiating a separation packet upon two consecutive PT Failures? How many commanders even knew that was a REQUIREMENT? How many HT/WT failures are not in the weight program? How come when promotion time comes around PT Cards magically fall out of the sky and SGT Fatty went from a 160 to a 250 in 3 weeks??

                              Making a new system wont police up the current one. Policing up the current one will, well.....police up the current one. It's really too easy. Get your unit paralegals involved and we will make some soldiers disappear as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3.
                              I agree with you completely. We should worry about soldiers passing and excelling on the current form of the APFT rather than pushing for a new one. There are plenty that fail the current one and by "plenty" I mean quite a lot. Based on the APFT scores in most of NJ's infantry companies, I'm willing to bet that over 60% of the state cannot pass the current APFT.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X