Army to Introduce New Fitness Test in 2020

Last week, the Army announced a replacement for the current three-event Army Physical Fitness Test, which has been around since 1980.

The new standard, the Army Combat Fitness Test, will phase out the two-mile run, sit-ups and pushups requirements, and replace them with six events: a strength dead lift; standing power throw; hand release pushup; spring, drag and carry; leg tuck and two-mile run that must be completed in order and can take anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes for a Soldier to finish.

According to the Army’s Center of Initial Military Training (CIMT), the new vigorous fitness test is designed to better prepare Soldiers for combat tasks, reduce injuries and lead to ample cost savings across the service.

Officials said they will begin a year-long field testing in October with 60 battalions and by October 2020, all regular Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers will be required to take the test.

Standards for the new test will be determined from those field tests and will ultimately be based on job requirements. They will be gender and age neutral.

Leaders at CIMT have stated the grading remains to be determined, but there will be a minimum baseline standard that aligns with the general physical fitness requirements of a Soldier to perform highly physical demanding common soldier tasks.

The test is the result of more than 20 years of Army research and studies of fitness and health within the service after the current test was criticized for failing to adequately measure readiness for modern combat. The Army Physical Fitness Test measured only muscular and aerobic endurance, officials said. The new test will measure strength and endurance, power, speed, agility, balance, flexibility, coordination and reaction time.