For as long as most soldiers can remember, push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run have been the Army’s fitness standard.
That’s about to change.
The Wyoming National Guard’s top enlisted soldier Command Sgt. Maj. Harold Pafford travelled east to Fort Bragg, North Carolina April 11 to see first-hand the changes in the Army’s revamped fitness exam, which has been renamed the Soldier Readiness Test.
Pafford, who submitted a request to take part in the testing, joined 24 other sergeants major from around the nation, who acted as guinea pigs.
“Leading from the front I wanted to be one of the first to take it” Pafford said.
The new test is designed to assess all components of fitness of soldiers through their abilities to perform unit-specific combat related tasks and to change the focus of Physical Readiness Training to a more holistic, functional fitness program, according to the Army Technique Publication 6-22.5.
The test consists of three phases, all of which build on the previous event to assess the overall fitness of soldiers. These movements relate to tasks soldiers might realistically perform in the field. They are also designed to reduce injury.
Phase one includes a tire flip, an agility drill and a casualty drag. Phase two consists of one of four muscular endurance events based on specific job skills which include armor, infantry, Stryker, and a multi-functional. Phase three consists of movement over one and half miles of unimproved terrain with an obstacle at the midway point.
Pafford explained the implementation of the new program. He said: “The SRT will be administered by the commanders to judge a unit’s overall readiness. Piloting finished in December of 2017 based on feedback from the field. United States Army Forces Command will be refining a few of the tasks within the test itself. ”
Soldiers could be pushing tires by as early as spring.