The Army Combat Readiness Test, a test designed to prepare soldiers for the demands of the, has not seen changes since the 1980’s. The military has recently been trying out certain modifications to the test they believe to be more realistic preparations for the future of combat.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there continues to be six events in the fitness test however some of the events have been updated.
Soldiers participate in a new style of push-up called the T push-up, where the arms are extended between every push-up. Participants are given two minutes to do as many repetitions as possible.
Cadet Bear Hatfield, a member of the ROTC at BYU-Idaho and a junior studying political science, stated the new style is much more difficult. He can complete about 80 traditional push-ups but only 50 T push-ups.
According to the Army News Service the test also includes the hanging leg tuck is also done within a two-minute limit. Participants hang from a pull-up bar and pull their knees up to their elbows or chest.
“The more reps you do, the better your score,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield said the standing power throw is an example that everything in the test has a real application for combat. The motion of throwing a 10-pound weight behind his head simulates how one would help lift a fellow soldier up to a higher location.
The test also consists of a 250-meter shuttle run with weights, a deadlift and it finishes with a timed, two-mile run.
Currently in the military, all combat jobs are available to men and women, which inspired the new modification to the ACRT. It is intended to hold the same test standards regardless of age or gender.
“There is no difference in the modern battlefield on age or gender,” said Michael McGurk, a director of research and analysis for the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, according to the Wall Street Journal. “A mountain is the same height for everybody.”
According to the Army News Service, the new version of the assessment is believed to be more challenging and reduce the chance of injury during service. However, the military has not yet released the passing standards.
Hatfield said student members of the ROTC at BYU-I practice the ACRT various times during a week. Recently the BYU ROTC put the practiced events to the test in the Ranger Challenge, a competition between many colleges’ ROTC programs.
“We competed against schools that have twice the student population,” said Cory Chatigny, the BYU-I Army ROTC officer-in-charge. “Our motto ‘Strength and Honor’ was boundless during the competition, and took the event by storm.”
The BYU-I team was compiled of students of every grade and gender and placed second overall.