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“Army Strong” to get stronger
News Bytes 02/8/2019 34 Comments

The U.S. Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat.

Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren't fit enough. Nearly half of the commanders surveyed last year said new troops coming into their units could not meet the physical demands of combat. Many senior officials think that the existing fitness test does not adequately measure the physical qualities needed for the battlefield.

The new test, "may be harder, but it is necessary," said Gen. Stephen Townsend, head of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Reaching the new fitness levels will be challenging. The old fitness test graded soldiers differently based on age and gender. The new one will be far more physically demanding and will not adjust the passing scores for older or female soldiers.

For example, in the current test — two minutes of situps, two minutes of pushups, a two-mile run — younger soldiers must do more repetitions and run faster to pass and get maximum scores than those who are older or female.

Townsend said the new test was designed based on scientific research that matched specific exercises to tasks that soldiers in combat must do: sprint away from fire, carry a wounded comrade on a stretcher, haul cans of fuel to a truck.

While not adjusted for age or gender, the scoring will be divided into three levels that require soldiers with more physically demanding jobs, such as infantry or armor, to score higher.

The six events in the new test take nearly an hour and are done in order with only a few minutes rest in between:

—a dead lift, with weights between 140 pounds and 340 pounds

—a standing power throw, which requires soldiers to throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead

—hand-release pushups, completing as many as possible in two minutes

—the "sprint-drag-carry" that includes a 50-yard sprint, a 50-yard backward sled drag, a 50-yard lateral, where soldiers shuttle sideways down the lane and back, a 50-yard carry of two 40-pound kettle bells and a 50-yard sprint

—after a short rest, the soldiers do the leg tuck pullup, as many as possible in two minutes

—a two-mile run

—whew!

"We needed to change the culture of fitness in the United States Army. We had a high number of nondeployable soldiers that had a lot of muscular/skeletal injuries and medical challenges because we hadn't trained them from a fitness perspective in the right way," said Army Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commander of the Army's Center for Initial Military Training and the officer in charge of developing the new fitness test. "The goal is about a having a more combat-ready army."

Frost said that about one-third of the soldiers who come into the service leave before their third year, many because of muscular skeletal injuries. The new test, he said, will help screen out recruits who are less physically fit and mentally disciplined. Those who make the cut are more likely to stay in the service.

Across the country, 63 battalions are working on the final test development and will eventually go back to their units and train others. By October 1 this year, the entire Army will be using the test. By October 2020, it will be the official exam that all soldiers will have to pass.

 (In this Jan. 8, 2019, photo, U.S Army 1st Lt. Mitchel Hess participates in a weight-lifting drill while training to be an instructor in the new Army combat fitness test at Fort Bragg, N.C. AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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Most recent comments

yikes!

Yikes! that looks really heavy but i guess that you need to be fit

Hmm, not that bad of an idea.

We do need to make sure that our soldiers' are fit and ready for deployment/combat. But being fit/ healthy is not only exercise, it it is also about the diet one has. If you don't eat healthily (which isn't the "healthy " that most people think of as low fat, high carb, and high protein) but true, real healthy foods such as good meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, etc., then you really aren't being fit/healthy. And if the military does not reinforce a good diet, then they are not gonna have the healthy/fit/combat ready soldiers that they are wanting. If they do enforce a good, wholesome diet, then way to go! This is a great idea. If not...

Sounds good

In the picture he's only deadlifting 315. I've done 360 before.

Personally i think this is a

Personally i think this is a good thing, world war 3 could happen any second because kim jung un has been being really sketchy lately.

Good idea

Great idea. After all, we can't have wimps in the US Army, now can we?

cool! Im glad they are

cool! Im glad they are getting very strong but those exercises are very intense!!

@Grant G.

No, you don't have to be strong to serve in the army

COOL ARTICLE

Good one, Phillip G. And I agree with Grant G. because I've seen some pretty wimpy army soldiers, and you guys haven't seen Air Force soldiers. They don't require as much training as Army, Marines, or Navy Seals. Yeah, and my Dad is in the Air Force, but he's not as wimpy. However, he doesn't just get wimpy guys at his station, he also gets lazy ones who complain too much. Most of the time he'll get good ones who are working to support their family.

@David U.

Wow! it's cool your dad is in the air force! I bet he tells you lots of stories:)

uh...

anyone know who wrote this article?

TICT

This is cool, though! (TICT)

I have an uncle who is in the army... well, I think he might be training, but idk

@ZACK W

Yeah, you do have to be strong ZACK!!

It seems like you would also

It seems like you would also have to be very strong emotionally, because you don't want soldiers having nervous break downs on the battle front!!

@Grant G.

I'm sure it helps if you are strong, but not all positions in the army require strength.

@Zack W.

I agree

@ZACK W

True

Kind of feel bad

My uncle is also in the army and he's a really high rank (I don't remember which one though).

18th comment

Yay

You have to be strong to be

You have to be strong to be in the army unless your a paperwork person.

That's just my opinion.

No offense to anyone. That's

No offense to anyone. That's just my opinion.
Nadia A.

...

Ok. The new fitness test is great and all but women should never be in the army! In less if they are nursers

@Paul P.

Excuse me, WHAT. If a woman wants to serve in the army, she shouldn't be restricted. This isn't the 19th century, I'm disappointed that people with your opinion still exist. I disagree with most far left feminists, but the fact that some people still don't think women should have basic rights like this is honestly depressing.

@Paul P

I don't see why not? I have been interested in the navy, and they let women in. Or what are your reasons for saying that women shouldn't be in the army?

@ Paul P

women can do a lot of good have saved thousands of lives like Florence nightingale and Clara Barton
but I think that its good to have your own opinion

I think women know what there getting into.

If a woman wants to joun the Army then she must be aware of what they do for training, right.
Am I right??

@Nadia A.

Yeah, I wonder if I could go through that training if I wanted to join. At least I could easily do the run, but.....

@ Paul P

Okay so there are some things that women can"t do as good as men, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be allowed to do what they want. Plus if a women makes it through all that hard training than she definitely deserves to be in the Army.

Elsie (Emelias sister)

I think that if a woman wants to be in the Army she can. If she can get through training why do you care? I would like to be a plane pilot for the army.

Nadia A

I agree!

I want to join the armed

I want to join the armed forces or the police or something along those lines. if I had to pick I would choose to be in the CIA.

And I think women should be allowed to do anything men can. I mean, the only differences between us aren't that big.

I also understand changing the rules for women in the army. After all, an enemy wouldn't be nicer to women just because! :)

@Emilia g :-)

Thank you, I don't think eneyone has agreed with me before.

I mean in riten form.
You know like wrightig: @Nadia A I agry .

Woops!!

Spelling coretion AGREE not. Agry.

@Nadia A.

That's sad, Nadia:(

@AlyssaS

Mabey they agreed in there head? I do that a lot.
:-[

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