The purpose of this essay is to talk about the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) and how it supports the “Train to Win in a Complex World” and why I agree with this new ACFT. The ACFT will replace the three-event Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) that is scheduled to be conducted by all Soldiers in October 2020. It is made of 6 different events, three-rep max deadlift, the leg tucks, a medicine ball power throw, “T” push-ups, a shuttle sprint-drag-carry, and a 2-mile run.
These 6 events help test the Soldier’s strength, endurance, explosive power, and speed. The reasons I agree with the new ACFT it’s because the events are chosen are designed to mimic actions that the Soldiers regularly perform in combat situations and also because the Soldiers will know that they need to be physically fit to pass this new ACFT.
In the new ACFT, the Soldiers will need to score depending on their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or unit.
A score of “60” is the minimum for Soldiers in “moderate” physically demanding units or MOS; a score of “65” is for Soldiers in “significant” physically demanding units or MOS, and a score of “70” is for Soldiers in “heavy” physically demanding unit or MOS. In the three-rep max deadlift, the Soldiers will perform three repetitions of the deadlift at the heaviest weight they are capable of lifting between 120 and 340 pounds. It is designed to test our lower body power and it also replicates picking up a wounded Soldier, ammunition boxes, heavy equipment, or supplies.
The leg tuck is similar to a pull-up, Soldiers will be hanging from a pull-up bar and will lift their legs up and down to touch their knees to their elbows as many times as possible during two minutes. This exercise will teskettlebellst the Soldier’s abdominal strength, it requires more strength than the sit-up and its also replicates climbing obstacles and hanging on things. In the medicine power ball throw, Soldiers will need to toss a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible to test their muscular explosive power, this event replicates the ability of a Soldier’s muscular explosive power that may be needed to lift themselves over an obstacle. The “T” pushups are similar to the traditional push-up but, in this event, the Soldiers will start in a prone position. When the Soldier is in the down position, they will move their arms outward and then back in to do another push-up. This exercise will test Soldiers’ ability to get up and down for cover and also from pushing away during man-to-man contact. In the shuttle sprint-drag-carry, the Soldiers must run five times up and down a 25-meter lane and perform sprints, drag a sled weighing 90 pounds, perform a lateral, and then hand-carry two 40 pounds kettlebell weight. This event can simulate a Soldier moving quickly to take cover or over a short distance while transporting such as ammo cans, water jugs, or a pulling a Soldier out of harm’s way. The two-mile run is the same running event as on the APFT. This is a timed run to build endurance, cardiovascular strength, and the Soldier’s aerobic capacity. As a test of record, the ACFT is intended to be completed in 70 minutes or less for two platoons of Soldiers with 16 lanes.
As a junior Non-Commission Officer (NCO), it’s our responsibility to train and prepare our Soldiers for the new ACFT. Many Soldiers have failed the test. According to an article, 36 percent of Soldiers overall failed the test, with 64 percent passing. As leaders, need to figure out new ideas to change the way we conduct Physical Training (PT) in the mornings to help the Soldiers get physical prepare and to set them up for success in the ACFT. We also need to find out ways to motivate our Soldiers, I believe that motivation takes a big role in a Soldiers physical training because, without it, the Soldiers will not give their best. I will personality do what it takes to help out the Soldiers during their physical training during work hours or on my time. No NCO shouldn’t have any excuse why they can’t help their Soldiers prepare for the ACFT. Every leader should come together and help each other out to create new ideas. Through physical training, the Soldiers how they suppose to be trained, is how the United States Army wins the war and how the Soldiers save lives during combat.
Many of the events in the ACFT are a bit challenging and it requires us to use different muscles. But that’s the point of taking physical training tests to challenge yourself not only physically but mentally. These events are designed to mimic actions that the Soldiers regularly perform in combat situations. This is why I agree with the new ACFT replacing the APFT. The ACFT will help the Soldiers stay fit to fight. The Sargent Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston stated “We must have highly trained, disciplined and physically fit Soldiers capable of winning on any battlefield. The ACFT, specifically linked to common warfighting tasks, will help us assess and improve the individual readiness of the force.” I agree with this statement. The United States Army needs to be prepared for major combat operations against all enemies at all times.
Every leader and Soldier needs to understand how the Unites States Army’s new ACFT standards target readiness and combat-related skills and why should every Soldier should take this physical training seriously. Every Soldier should do their research to better understand why the United States Army is doing these changes and what is behind those changes. Soldiers should always be mentally and physically prepared to win any war. This is why the Unites States Military remains to be the greatest in the world.