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U.S. Army eases fitness standards for women and older troops

A study found that women and older troops were more likely to fail the Army’s gender-neutral physical test. The test was updated to reduce the standards in some areas

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U.S Army troops training to serve.

U.S. Army troops training to serve as instructors participate in the new Army combat fitness test at the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade compound at Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 8, 2019.

Associated Press

The United States Army announced Wednesday that changes will be made to the physical fitness test.

  • This decision was made due to findings that women and older adults in less physical positions were failing the test.
  • Failing the test could possibly result in being discharged from the Army, according to The Associated Press.

What changes were made? “Among the key changes announced by the Army are new-age-and-gender-performance normed scoring scales; the replacement of the leg tuck with the plank for the core-strength assessment; and the addition of the 2.5-mile walk as an alternate aerobic event,” reported the U.S. Army website.

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“This infographic depicts the six events of the ACFT as well as a brief summary of the implementation timeline for regular Army and reserve components.” (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

  • “The revisions of 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,” said the U.S. Army website.

Implementation: For active duty, the new testing will begin in April, but the results won’t actually count until October. The test will be administered twice a year, reported The Associated Press.

  • Guard and reserve soldiers will take the test once a year, and their results won’t count until next April, per The Associated Press.
  • Soldiers must receive 60 points out of 100 on each test event to pass.
  • “Once the scoring begins taking effect, those who fail will be able to retake the test after several months. If they fail twice, they will be discharged from the Army,” according to The Associated Press.