The U.S. Army said Tuesday it will introduce new fitness tests that mimic battlefield scenarios as part of the first overhaul of soldiers' physical readiness standards in 30 years.
The new tests will see soldiers running and carrying heavy loads in combat gear, as well as dragging weights that simulate wounded comrades. In addition, soldiers will be required to complete several drills including an obstacle course and 400-meter run while wearing uniform and carrying a weapon.
In addition, soldiers' physical abilities will be judged by the new Army Physical Readiness Test, which will replace the current Army Physical Fitness Test.
The current test, which requires soldiers to complete two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a two-mile run, does not give an accurate picture of physical readiness for battle, head of Army initial training Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling said Tuesday at a briefing in Ft. Jackson.
Going forward, soldiers will no longer do sit-ups as part of the test but will run shorter distances faster, do a one-minute rower exercise, do faster push-ups and complete a standing long jump.
The changes are part of an effort to have soldiers physically prepared to do battle, instead of training to achieve the standards set by the test.
"The goal is to align the training and the tests with tasks that soldiers have to perform on the battlefield so that the commander has a better tool to measure preparedness and can guide training for the unit," US Army Physical Fitness School director Frank Palkoska said.
The program will be tested at eight locations with hopes of expanding Army-wide by the end of the summer.