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More Recruits Ace Army’s New Fitness Test

Andy Berg

The military’s new Army Combat Fitness Test is still being run through its paces but a few recruits have recently shown it can be beat.

The Military Times reports that Spc. Benjamin Ritchie on Oct. 21 became the third soldier to notch a perfect 600-point score on the ACFT, and the first basic training recruit to do so.

As it stands, every trainee must at least pass the ACFT to graduate from basic training.  

Michael B. Pond, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Training Center, said new test is still be evaluated.

“We are still collecting data, and the sample size is too small to gain any significant insights,” Pond told Army Times. “With over 40,000 trainees graduating into soldiers at Fort Jackson every year, we’ll need 6-9 months to really see the impact. And all the Battalions transition from familiarization to the test of record after January.”

“So far, we are getting turf installed and have all the test equipment," Pond added. "Drill Sergeants are trained. We know we will have some bumps in the road as we transition, but so far the most significant material hurdles are cleared.”

The Times also reports that two others in Ritchie’s battalion scored above 590.

A senior drill sergeant overseeing Ritchie’s unit said that training hasn’t changed much this cycle.

“There were no special fitness coaches, diets, or focused ACFT workouts,” Staff Sgt. Joshua Delgado said in the release. “Hard work and motivation — that’s our ‘special sauce.'"

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