The Army has now approved plans to reduce physical fitness tests for women and older soldiers.
After a three year review, the Army has scrapped plans to use the same physical fitness test for all soldiers.
According to the Hill, the decision follows a RAND-led study that found that men were passing the newm more difficult Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) more easily than women and older soldiers. Women and older soldiers were found to be “failing at noticeably higher rates.”
The ACFT had been expanded in 2019 to six events from the original three. Those three included pushups, situps, and a run.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a statement, “This test is an essential part of maintaining the readiness of the Army as we transform into the ARmy of 2030. The revisions to the ACFT are based on data analysis, including an independent assessment required by Congress. We will continue to assess our implementation of the test to ensure it is fair and achieves our goal of strengthening the Army’s fitness culture.”
The six event ACFT included deadlifts, power throws, pushups, planks, run and sprint-drag-carry event, and a leg tuck. The leg tuck has since been removed. The Army believes these new changes will better reflect skills needed for combat and will reduce risk of injury.
From October 2020 to April 2021, around 44% of women failed the ACFT, while only 7% of men failed. The RAND study also determined that the ACFT did not accurately predict job performance. It was found to better assess physical fitness.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MWI.USMA.EDU