After an evaluation of the military’s approach to physical fitness spanning nearly 20 years, the Army has announced a new combat skill-centered fitness test will be introduced in 2020.
The new test will be similar in form to the Marine Corps’ combat-oriented test in use since 2009, and will consist of six events including a deadlift, a standing power throw, a T-pushup, a leg tuck, a sprint/drag/carry and a two-mile run.
As the Army prepares to implement the new standard, it will spend the interim assessing a pilot program, modifying existing fitness regimes and preparing soldiers for the new grading method.
According to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Sutterfield of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, the goal of the new initiative is to place more importance on functional and holistic fitness, with a focus on safety and injury prevention. “We want our soldiers to be as healthy and combat ready as possible.”
Sutterfield told Stars and Stripes that the new Combat Readiness Test varies greatly in philosophy from the current Army Physical Fitness Test. “The APFT is a great test to measure someone’s overall fitness,” he said, “but the CRT measures explosive power, strength and the kind of fitness a soldier would need in combat.”
Sutterfield also revealed that the CRT will be as minimally gender-specific as possible, saying, “It’s everyone’s job to be combat ready.”
The Army has plans to facilitate the new training regime by opening new functional fitness centers on several USAG Bavaria bases.