The new army combat fitness test standards include new scoring standards, updated physical events, and allow soldiers to have at least six months to practice before the test. While the minimum requirements remain gender-neutral, the new test includes age-based performance results and performance based on third-party analysis by Rand Corporation.
“This test is an essential part of maintaining the readiness of the Army as we transform into the Army of 2030,” said Christine E. Wormuth, Secretary of the Army in a press release.
“The revisions to the ACFT are based on data and analysis, including an independent assessment required by Congress. We will continue to assess our implementation of the test to ensure it is fair and achieves our goal of strengthening the Army’s fitness culture.”Christine Wormuth | The United States Army
This article covers all army combat fitness test standards and discusses the six events that fall under ACFT standards 2022.
Logistically, ACFT requires a lot of time, equipment, space, and manpower. The test must be completed within 90 minutes; however, according to the Army’s Quick Reference Guide, most participants finish in less than 75 minutes. A 5-minute break is allowed between each test, and a 10-minute break is allowed before the final event, a two-mile run. For the equipment, ACFT needs 60 lbs. (27 kg) of support bars and bumper boards, a 10-pound medical cannon (5 kg), two 40-pound kettlebells (18 kg), and a 90-pound sled (41 kg) with pull straps and pull the bar in each strap.
Recommended assessment tools include stopwatches, 25-meter taps (27 yards), constant power shooting sticks (SPT), high-travel cones, and small field cones. Each unit must have its own standard cabinet filled with the necessary test equipment. The test also requires an open area of sufficient width and length to accommodate SPT and Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC) events, as well as an improved, level running service that is only two miles long. A not-for-profit officer or officer in charge oversees the management of the test, and each lane requires a certified ACFT grader (two to four soldiers perform events on each track). The number of lanes depends on the size of the unit and the space available for each of ACFT’s six events.
As explained earlier, ACFT standards 2022 vary depending on military occupational specialties (MOS). The minimum average passing score is 60 points per event. Due to training disruptions caused by the international coronavirus pandemic from the date of issue, the Army prefers to maintain all categories of IMC to achieve a minimum average passing score of 60 points per event. The ACFT scores will not be used administratively for criminal and promotional purposes until March 2022. The ACFT scores will be recorded as a record test, but this is the soldier’s last ACFT record previously considered for administrative purposes in the military schools.
Along with updated scoring standards, the ACFT has also updated its series of 6 events.
No More Leg Tucks; Long Live the Plank!
According to the army, as a result of Rand’s research, the leg tuck was excluded from the Combat Readiness Test, resulting in an unfair measurement of a soldier’s basic strength, as proper exercise also requires relatively high body strength (the other events already overestimate it).
As a result, soldiers will have to make snowboards, often simply “planks”, for most of the strength tests. Soldiers will be judged on how well they can hold themselves in the right position.
6 Events on the Army Combat Fitness Test for 2022
The updated ACFT for 2022 will include a six-point event that will be combined to create the overall result of a military combat fitness test. Here’s the event, as well as a description of what the army is trying to do and why:
Maximum Deadlift (MDL)
Deadlift the maximum weight possible up to 340 lbs.
MDL assesses the component of muscle strength in fitness by measuring the lower body, grip, and core strength of a soldier. This requires well-maintained back and leg muscles and helps soldiers avoid hip, knee, and back injuries. Flexibility and balance are secondary components of fitness that MDL values.
Standing Power Throw (SPT)
Throw a 10-pound medicine ball for a distance.
The SPT measures the strength component in fitness by measuring a soldier’s ability to create fast, explosive movements from the upper and lower body. The secondary components of compliance assessed by the SPT include balance, coordination, and agility.
Hand Release Pushups (HRP)
Perform as many hand release pushes as possible in two minutes.
HRP assesses the muscular endurance component of fitness by measuring the endurance of a soldier’s upper body. HRP is a powerful driver for upper body and core strength training. Flexibility is a secondary component of HRP assessed compliance.
Sprint / Drag / Carry (SDC)
Get services 5 x 50 meters in time – sprint, drag, and carry.
The SDC evaluates the components of fitness endurance, muscle strength, anaerobic strength, and anaerobic endurance by measuring a soldier’s ability to maintain medium to high-intensity muscle work in a short space of time. The secondary components of SDC-assessed compliance include balance, coordination, agility, and response time.
Keeping in the correct position of the plank for as long as possible up to 3 mins and 40 secs.
The PLK assesses the muscular endurance component of fitness by measuring basic strength and isometric endurance over time. Core stability and balance are secondary components of the PLK assessed compliance.
2 Mile Race (2MR)
Run two miles at a time on a steady, generally flat open track, in under 22 mins.
2MR assesses the aerobic endurance component in fitness. Higher aerobic endurance allows a soldier to work longer and recover faster while performing repetitive physical exercises. Conditioning is vital to be able to maintain stamina under duress for soldiers out in the field.
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) standards 2022 are challenging. These are designed to assess muscle strength, muscular endurance, strength, and cardio-respiratory endurance. It will be difficult to disguise your physical weaknesses, as many strength traits are tested with six events of the test.
Test performance improvement and training now have a higher level of compliance compared to the previous one-dimensional ACFT standards. Conditioning and muscular endurance are still important traits to go through, but ACFT requires more attention to other components of general athletics.