The United States Army has removed one of the requirements from its new physical fitness test.
The Associated Press reported that the Army Combat Fitness Test implemented last October had required soldiers to complete at least one leg tuck. After it became clear that many of the troops weren’t able to hang from a bar and pull their knees up near their shoulders, the Army decided Monday to remove the leg tuck requirement.
Instead, the AP reported, “soldiers will have the option of choosing another exercise called the plank, that also shows core strength.”
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The Army has taken a long look at its fitness tests in order to create one that is gender- and age-neutral, but also isn’t a disadvantage to female soldiers, older soldiers or others who may find certain exercises difficult.
According to the AP, the Army also announced Monday that it will create a new tiered system to “mask some of the fitness score differences between men and women when it comes to promotions or other job selections.”
After a six-month suspension of all fitness testing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army Combat Fitness Test was implemented in October and included six events: the maximum deadlift; standing power throw; hand-release push-ups; spring, drag and carry; leg tuck; and two-mile run.
To pass the test, soldiers must have a minimum score of 60 points in each exercise. Each is worth a maximum of 100 points. Soldiers will be ranked in tiers based on how they did compared to others of their gender. Those tiers will show up on internal reports, rather than the score itself.
The AP reported that Maj. Gen. Lonnie Hibbard believes the new tiered system, “fosters and recognizes above-average physical performance, something that’s inherent to the Army culture. And second, it accounts for the recognized physiological differences between men and women, and it removes the direct competition between males and females within the service.”
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