Physical Entry Requirements For The Army – Like many businesses and employers, Defense objectives and requirements have evolved over time. The nature of military operations is very different from what it used to be and many roles in close combat infantry, which were closed to women, are now open.
One of the major changes made to the British Army is for it to mandate standards and physical fitness requirements incorporated into a range of Army role fitness tests ranging from civilian enlistment to Army field roles.
Physical Entry Requirements For The Army
It is designed to show the situations a soldier might face on a battlefield, including marching into battle, engaging enemy positions, taking casualties and the need to replenish supplies and equipment and, with proper training, reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
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The Army’s new physical fitness requirements are now called Physical Employment Standards (PES), are role-related and no longer gender or age specific. The two categories are;
The new standards will affect entrance exams for prospective soldiers and officers who enlist in the military and serve in regular and reserve personnel. New standards are also being set for those who have reached the end of Basic Training before the start of Initial Trade Training (ITT).
Previous military fitness assessments have been twofold and include the Annual Fitness Test (AFT)/Combat Fitness Test (CFT) and the Personal Fitness Assessment (PFA). They contain:
The PFA is now known as the Soldier Conditioning Review (SCR) and consists of six elements:
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It is estimated that it takes about 1.5 hours for a group of 50 to complete all the exercises.
Employees are graded from 1-15 for each component and given an overall score based on an amber/green/red system.
The SCR is currently in the assessment period and technically does not yet have a pass/fail element.
For GCC units, RFT(S) Interim replaces the current Reserves AFT and contains 3 elements of RFT(S).
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Non-GCC reserve units will perform 6 miles AFT until the exact details of the role fitness test are determined.
Employees must pass this test as part of MATT 2 to obtain their annual Certificate of Efficiency, which will allow them to receive their annual tax-free allowance.
Reservists deploying or taking career courses are expected to pass the Regular RFT(S), if applicable for the position.
The Role Fitness Test (Entry) (RFT(E)) is the standard used to assess those who join the military. Source: Darren Coventry, BFBS
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There are three physical standards designed to test aerobic, upper and lower body capacity and strength that are assessed during the military application process. It is;
The Role Fitness Test (Basic Training) (RFT(BT)) is used at the end of Basic Training before starting Initial Trade Training. Source: Darren Coventry, BFBS
Prospective officers must complete a multi-stage fitness test (beep test) with a minimum level of 8.7, medicine ball throw, mid-thigh pull, and an obstacle course.
The Role Fitness Test (Basic Training) (RFT(BT)) is used at the end of Basic Training to ensure that personnel are at the required level of fitness before moving on to Initial Trade Training (ITT).
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PES for GCC roles started earlier this year (April 19). GCC roles include the infantry and the Royal Armored Corps.
PES for non-GCC roles will be deployed in 2021-2022. Personnel in this category continue to meet standards for the current annual fitness test (6 miles for regular and reserve).
To join the military (over 18) you need a BMI between 18-28 and for those under 18 it is between 28-30.
Men (over 18 years old) may still be considered after additional assessments between 28-32 or women (under 18) between 28-30. On Wednesday, the Army announced major changes to the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), eliminating genderless scores and the leg tuck among many other changes, to be implemented on April 20. policy.
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The new ACFT includes new scoring tables, updated physical events, and requires soldiers to receive a minimum of six months of training before testing their records. While the minimum requirements remain gender neutral, the new test includes “performance-matched scoring standards, scaled by age and gender” based on Soldier feedback and a third-party analysis conducted by the Rand Corporation.
“This test is an important part of maintaining the military’s readiness as we transform the military in 2030,” Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth said in a press release Wednesday. “The ACFT changes are based on data and analysis, including an independent review required by Congress. We will continue to review our testing implementation to ensure it is fair and meets our goal of strengthening the Army’s health culture.”
According to an Army press release, the changes to the test’s scoring parameters were developed by studying approximately 630,000 recorded ACFT scores, compared to traditional Army Physical Fitness Test scores. They also take into account the scoring percentages recorded in other branches with new events such as stomach plank.
According to the military, the leg tuck was removed from the Combat Fitness Test as a result of the Rand study, which concluded that it is an unfair measure of a soldier’s core strength since performing the exercise correctly also requires a fair amount of upper body strength (which other events already have).
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“Leg tuck, for example, is not useful in predicting performance in combat tasks,” said RAND’s Dr. Chaitra Hardison, the study’s lead author, on Monday.
, for the core strength portion of the test. Soldiers are rated by how long they can hold themselves in the correct position on the board.
Here is a video from the US Army Center for Initial Military Training explaining how to conduct this event.
The updated ACFT consists of six events scored, which add up to their overall Army Combat Fitness Test score. Here are the events, as well as the military’s descriptions of what they’re testing and why it’s important:
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The MDL assesses the muscular strength component of fitness by measuring the soldier’s lower body, grip, and core muscle strength. It requires good fitness of the back and leg muscles and helps soldiers avoid hip, knee and lower back injuries. Flexibility and balance are secondary fitness areas assessed by the MDL.
The SPT activity assesses the strength component of fitness by measuring the soldier’s ability to generate rapid, explosive movements in their upper and lower body. Secondary areas of fitness assessed by the SPT include balance, coordination, and flexibility.
The HRP assesses the muscular endurance component of fitness by measuring the endurance of the soldier’s upper body. HRP is a strong driver for upper body and core strength training. Flexibility is the second component of suitability assessed by the HRP.
The SDC assesses the muscle endurance, muscle strength, anaerobic power and anaerobic endurance components of fitness by measuring the soldier’s ability to perform moderate to high intensity muscle work for a short period of time. Secondary fitness areas assessed by the SDC include balance, coordination, agility, flexibility and reaction time.
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The PLK assesses the muscular endurance component of fitness by measuring the soldier’s core strength and endurance. Balance is the second component of fitness assessed by the PLK.
2MR explores the Aerobic Endurance component of fitness. Higher aerobic endurance allows a soldier to work longer and recover faster when performing repetitive physical tasks.
Scores for each event are now broken down by age group and gender, to ensure all soldiers have a fair chance of passing the test, while still allowing the military to maintain strict standards regarding overall fitness.
Active duty soldiers must take the new Army Combat Fitness Test to score in October 2022
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Soldiers will begin taking the new ACFT beginning April 1, 2022, with active duty and reserve soldiers required to take the test for score beginning October 1, 2022. Each soldier’s first test for record must be taken before April 1, 2023 for active duty troops, while reserve and guard soldiers have 20 through April 1.
Alex Hollings is a writer, father, and Marine veteran specializing in foreign policy analysis and defense technology. He holds a master’s degree in communications from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in business and organizational communications from Framingham State University.
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