New PT Test for US Army

The United States Army is instituting a new Physical Fitness Test that seeks to better duplicate the conditions that troops face in combat. Here’s a description of the new events:

The new “physical readiness’’ test adds such things as a 60-yard shuttle run and a standing long jump to one minute of push-ups and a 1.5-mile timed run. This might be given every six months, said Frank Palkoska, head of the Army’s Fitness School at Fort Jackson.

A “combat readiness’’ test includes running 400 meters with a rifle, moving through an obstacle course in full combat gear, and crawling and vaulting over obstacles while aiming a rifle. Soldiers also have to run on a balance beam while carrying a 30-pound ammo box and do an agility sprint around a course field of cones.

To test pulling a fallen comrade from the battlefield, soldiers must drag a sled weighted with 180 pounds of sandbags. That portion of the test might be given only before deployments, but that has not been decided.

The current test, which was instituted when I was in the Army in the early 1980s, consisted of just three events: push-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run. Fr a male age 40, to get a maximum score on the test you had to do 73 push-ups in two minutes, 76 sit-ups in two minutes, and run two miles in 13:36. The minimum needed to pass is 34 push-ups, 38 sit-ups, and a time of 18:18 in the two mile run.

The new events do seem more “mission oriented” but it also sounds like it will be complicated to administer.

4 Responses to New PT Test for US Army

  1. C R Krieger says:

    I think the Air Force went through three different themes in about ten years, the 5BX (from the Royal Canadian Air Force), an aerobic run based on the Colonel Kenneth Cooper, MD, view of fitness and then a 1.5 mile run/3 mile walk.  In 1978 (or maybe it was 1979) you couldn’t do the run if you were over a certain age and I am here to tell you I would much rather have done the run that the 3 mile walk, where they watched your feet, but timed you and the period was rather short for the 3 miles, as I recall.  The run would have been easier, but I was not allowed to do it, even though that was what I had been, thoughtlessly, training for.

    Just the other day my wife mentioned to me Mr Jim Fixx, who died immediately after jogging.  But, Mr Fixx had a genetic predisposition, had smoked when younger, had been overweight, and had a couple of stressors in his life, including a second divorce and a stressful job.

    I should have gone to the gym today.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. Dean says:

    What I experience was upper torso strength. One had to carry 5 gallon cans of water with each arm. Secondly ,one had to carry 5 gallon cans of gas in each arm. Thirdly, we had to carry boxes of ammo in each arm. Then we had to fill sand bags and carry them in each arm and walk to the position that we want to place the sand bags. It about the things we carried. Filling sand bags most of the day does not make it but it is about protection of you unit’s survial.

  3. Jack Mitchell says:

    Combat is one facet of a soldier’s life. Makes little sense to me to fix something that ain’t broke.

    Dick’s point is huge. The testing must be administered anywhere in the world, fairly, so that a private in Germany is taking the same test as a Major in Texas. This test goes towards accruing promotion points. It must be a means of assessing strength and stamina. But it can’t ever be allowed to reach a point where results are a function of procedure.

    Should we alter the marksman’s qualification is such a manner, make more combaty, as well?

  4. Dean says:

    The PT tests given to the men are they the same standards for the women during U.S.Army basic training ?