Army Researchers Press on with Physical Demands Study

Demands-Study-600x400The Army is making progress with a special study designed to help soldiers determine which specialty to pursue.

The purpose of the Physical Demands Study, or PDS, is to provide predictive tests to select soldiers for accession into physically-demanding occupations, an Army statement sai

Researchers, from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, traveled to Fort Carson, Colorado, three times this year as they continue to collect data for the study.

USARIEM’s role in this initiative is to examine the physical performance requirement of the specified combat arms occupations and to develop predictive physical tests that will apply uniformly to every soldier being recruited for these military occupational specialties, or MOSs, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.

“The Army’s scientific approach for evaluating and validating MOS-specific standards aids leadership in selecting the best-qualified Soldiers for each job within the Army profession,” Jack Myers, a planner in the Training and Doctrine Command’s, or TRADOC’s, said on the Army website. “This will ensure force capability and readiness.”

USARIEM is working with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command as part of the comprehensive Soldier 2020 initiative.

Over the past two years, USARIEM researchers have traveled thousands of miles, conducted several stages of testing, and spoken with hundreds of soldiers at all levels.

— Kris Osborn can be reached at

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • von vomit

    The Army does not care one bit about its soldiers, or more flag rank officers would be putting careers at risk to protest the “politically correct”. Physical driven standards? Bull sh!it. Women in combat arms? There is a reason why women are not in MOSs that require demanding physical requirements. I guess the USMC was wrong when all the wannabes got washed out of USMC OCS…and the Army was wrong when all the women who tried out for Ranger school failed in the 1st week. But hey, lets socially experiment with the military drive down morale, ruin readiness, and contribute to defeat in combat….just saying

    • Stefan S.

      Agree 100%. Glad I’m retired. This will mean more dead Americans someday. This is the end result of the liberal agenda that is 30 years in the making. Women have no business in combat arms. Period. America isn’t Israel, where we need everyone to carry a rifle for survival. Guess human evolution got it all wrong. All hail the Dear Leader and his infinite wisdom…..GMAFB!

  • mka

    We will not change the standards.This being said,the standards will be changed or the socialist in charge will not promote the yes men that are now generals and admirals.
    You only have to look at what is standing there at the starting line,doing evaluations, to realize it is vote buying not the nations interest,which is important.

  • Shiv

    I served as cadre at the Special Forces Assessment Selection committe (G Company) from 1989 to 1993 and worked closely with members of the ARI staff. We learned that SF Soldiers are not made, they are born, that “we” posess key attributes already within our character that drive us to be a SPEC OPS Soldier / Green Beret. We had a cadre member that was maybe a 100 pounds soaking weight, short in stature, he disliked rucking just for PT….on the long range movement (over 20 miles) as part of the SFAS new cadre training, he jogged the entire distance with no breaks just to get it over with, having the best time and was yes, still able to “Soldier” at the end of it, not drop dead like some candidates did. Mind over matter, heart and soul brother. DE OPPRESSO LIBER. Mindset can overcome physical demands.

    • Rich P

      How far was the long range Ruck?
      How much time did I have?
      What did you say? Roster number?
      Can’t remember my roster number sorry?

  • T-Bird

    The testing will be used to develop standards to earn/maintain an MOS. In the past, if an infantryman could pass the APFT he could maintain his MOS. The APFT was a flat standard for all. In the future an infantryman/infantrywoman will have to score higher on some type of fitness test to maintain his/her MOS. Different MOS will have different fitness standards. If the standards are set realistically, it will become especially tough for Reserve and National Guard Infantry units to maintain their current force structure, as each infantryman will be required to prove himself every year to maintain his MOS.

  • John Garand

    If I had to hazard a guess, I would suspect that VERY few women will be pursuing a career as a mechanic on the M-1A ‘Abrams’ tank.

  • Matt

    The picture alone says so much. The civilian female is comfortably dressed, carries no load, has a shelter from the elements, and is there to evaluate the male soldier. I’m sure a never been, can’t do researcher is going to get it right. What about measuring heart or resolve? And the Pentagon cries for more money, yet blows it on this stuff. When are these tests gonna be given? Clearly you’d have to test folks before they get an MOS, and who would enlist without knowing what they are going to do?

    I can see the social engineering concerns, but also find it ironic that they are engaged in a program that is more likely than not to show that females are not suited for infantry work, at a time when they are trying to get women through the Ranger School.

  • Bill

    Shades of the load carriage study at Aberdeen 1993. 3rd SFG.
    Look it up.

  • Uh… I wonder if the study will tell folks there are no light infantry units at Carson? The only unit that primarily uses their feet to move themselves, their combat load and sometimes supplies to maintain continuous ops on combat.

    I think we all know the answer to that question…

  • 11CP5

    I wonder if this is a study to try and do what the Marines do? One Basic training then they tell you what you are going to be after that? Lots of questions the story does not give answers to. Most joining the military are young men and women who have not fully grown into their own. Seems to this old country boy it is a waste of time and money. IMHO it is trying to fix something that is not broken.