We’re teasing a story here that’ll run tomorrow morning in full as the lead story on Military.com:

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Army is gearing up to change its fitness test for every Soldier and recruit in the force.

Gone is the simple push up, sit up and run routine and in its place comes a battery of sprints, jumps and rows.

And just when you thought you’d have a breather, the service is introducing a grueling battery of slalom runs, balance beam walks, casualty drags and ammo carries it calls the Army Combat Readiness Test – a totally new evaluation that simulates the kind of body crush Joes are seeing on deployment.

“The key difference is between ‘readiness’ and fitness,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the Army’s deputy commanding general for initial training, during a March 1 phone interview outlining the new tests.

“It’s one thing to be fit … it’s quite another thing to be ready for the things we are being asked to do,” Hertling added.  “And in our case, it’s becoming a ‘tactical athlete.’ ”

The Army will likely implement the tests service wide by fall or winter.

The APRT is good, but the ACRT is like the Corps’ Combat Fitness Test adopted in 2008 but with one major caveat. The CFT is meant to be administered in CONUS or in the AO; the ACRT has some equipment associated with it so it’s likely to be run as a pre-deployment for Joes heading to The Box.

One thing’s for sure, there’s no getting around this one. You’ll have to be all Cross Fit nowadays to keep in the game for promotion — and for readiness.

Army Combat Readiness Test

Make sure to stop by the Military.com Fitness Center for some expert tips on how to prepare for stuff like this…it’s gonna be a killer!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Honestly this is a good idea, I mean its practical and also a good mental exercise it looks like as well. I just enlisted in the Army and ship to OSUT late this month I wish they would actually implement in something like this instead of the 111

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yn1lee March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

But how many reserve, guard, or deployed units are going to be able to set up courses like this one each time they need to take a test.

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Mike March 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

That is true I am sure they will find some way to set some small thing like the ammo sprints and maybe the casuality carry

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steve March 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Better Question hoe many CSS and SS units will have even a 50% pass rate for this?

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FormerDirtDart March 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

they build the site, just add the traffic cones for tests. 60yds by 20 yds isn't a huge area. Plus, the ACRT is likely to be conducted once a year, so National Guard and Reserve units would easily be able to conduct it during annual training. Which is conducted at larger installations than the average Reserve Center or Armory.

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Matthew Malecky March 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

The brief explaining this test will probably take over half an hour every time it's administered.
It already takes long enough just to explain push-ups and sit-ups, haha.

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Bill March 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Looks fun, I wonder what the time proficiencies are.

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devil dawg poolee March 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Marines did this first.

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FormerDirtDart March 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Actually, the Ranger Regiment did it first.

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Raiders Rules March 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

You should've seen how the Alamo Scouts did theirs.

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strikehold March 2, 2011 at 3:07 am

I reckon the Romans did it first…

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Stefan S. March 2, 2011 at 3:25 am

Senatus Populusque Romanus!

Achilles March 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

I reckon the Myrmidons did it first

Shaun March 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

The soldier in this picture is wearing Mechanix shop gloves. How come we haven't seen a post about all the special operators who are using those in the sandbox? =)

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Pete's Sake March 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm

@ Shaun,

Ain't no need, bubba, they sell those in Wal-Mart.

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Doyle March 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I have mixed feelings on this. It sounds good because there was often more importance placed on the APRFT
Than the soldier taking it ( how a unit looked on paper). Then there was always the commander who was a runner and thought if his troops didnt have fast run times then they weren't trying hard enough even if they maxed
Push ups and sit ups. However, you could test almost anywhere anytime without special equipment
And practicing on your own was possible. Now how are individuals supposed to practice this? It sounds almost impossible except for running with a couple of ammo cans. The idea of fitness being tied to real world demands is definitely the right focus, but how much time will this take away from other necessary training?

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Mike March 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Maybe you might have to do it once ever 2 years instead of having to doing the APFT every year. I mean yes it isnt very practical for doing it own your own like the current one but again it seems very practical because the chances of doing similar things on the field will increase better performance and in turn better training.

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SleepyDave March 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

So, let me see if I've got this straight. I'm joining the US Army. I'm doing a shiteton of pushups, situps, a load of running, some chinups, lots of calesthenics. When I go to Basic, I'll probably continue this same exercise program, since I don't need fancy equipment, and I can do it anywhere. But now once a year I'll have to do this new test, which I can't really train for unless they set up all the equipment permanently and make it available. Marines do digital, Army does digital. Marines do MCCRT, so now the Army has to do ACRT, I guess. And now once a year I'll sit through a 50 minute briefing to do a routine that I more than likely cannot practice for, will only do once a year, and that tests an entirely different physical standard than the APFT. Brilliant. I feel loads better.

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Mike March 3, 2011 at 10:01 am

I hear ya but it could be better than we think,

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Dbones March 3, 2011 at 9:55 am

The test is supposed to test your overall fitness, something the current PT test does not appropriately do. If your in good shape you will do well. I actually look forward to this, because maybe people won't be so obsessed about 300s, rather it'll be whether or not you can complete the course at a reasonable time.

I do have to say my BN adopted the Ranger Regiment's Ranger Athelete Warrior program, and I think with some modifications their assessment is much better then anything the Army has done so far.

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Peter de Kam March 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Train the way you fight, fight the way you train… Oh my gosh… What a concept! Wait a second, weren't we supposed to be doing that in the first place? I have faith that Sgt Snuffy is going to get a serious case of religion and get with the program within the next two/three years or someone will find him a new home (quality force programs, etc). Now let's see if the Air Force takes a clue… that's the real acid test of this.

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old coot March 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

wonder if gen schwartzkoff could do it? Lead by example
Hell wonder if any bribe taking congressman could either

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PMI March 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

For The Win!

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rockonesix March 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

@ old coot – lololololololol

this test looks fun, honestly. Now instead of scoring 285+ on my APFT I can have the fastest course time too!

I dont want to get into it but I think there are better ways to train/test physical fitness than this.

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somejoe March 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

who cares who did it first? It's about time that "we" did it. just being fit and doing PT doesn't really prepare you for the sh#t that is going to be asked of you and what you will "have" to do in the AO. I could never understand why the PT requirements didn't really reflect the job. I think it's a move in the right direction.

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Combat Carl March 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I reckon God did it first.

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Mike March 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

No Charlie Sheen did

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