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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 7:35 PM
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Default Dumb and Dumber: The Army's New PT Test

https://warontherocks.com/2018/10/du...s-new-pt-test/

For anyone here who is in the Army now or going to be this article dissects the new PT test that is supposed to be a test for record come OCT 2020. I recommend reading the article.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:59 AM
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I agree with the article. I'm in the CalGuard (for a few more days anyway...then it's USAR) and this new test is a recipe for disaster regarding training schedules.

And the writer is on point with the specialized gear, it's availability (he even mentions civilian availability), and the injuries that will occur because of lack of training.

Another moronic idea from the head shed. How so many smart people can collectively act so stupidly will always puzzle me.
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Old 10-17-2018, 5:53 PM
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Nothing I'm thinking hasn't been said already.

It was nice being to administer a PT test and the only piece of equipment needed was a stop watch and a marked off 2 mile course.

Now an equipment cage is going to be needed for the equipment just to run a PT test. Units are going to be begging and stealing from other units just to run the test.

Individual soldiers are going to have to find a way to have such equipment to practice and train with, verses just working out at home without specialized equipment.
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Old 10-17-2018, 6:08 PM
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Nothing I'm thinking hasn't been said already.

It was nice being to administer a PT test and the only piece of equipment needed was a stop watch and a marked off 2 mile course.

Now an equipment cage is going to be needed for the equipment just to run a PT test. Units are going to be begging and stealing from other units just to run the test.

Individual soldiers are going to have to find a way to have such equipment to practice and train with, verses just working out at home without specialized equipment.
a mat is good for the sit ups but not really a cumbersome thing to have. this new test is a mess.

if you saw some of the comments that are for this mess it's actually sad and funny at the same time.

remember we are still 2 years out before this is implemented should it even make it that far. This FY is testing and evaluation. Lots will change.

A friend of mine took this at Bliss and it took about 22 people to grade 30. Talk about inefficient.
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Old 10-17-2018, 6:09 PM
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I agree with the article. I'm in the CalGuard (for a few more days anyway...then it's USAR) and this new test is a recipe for disaster regarding training schedules.

And the writer is on point with the specialized gear, it's availability (he even mentions civilian availability), and the injuries that will occur because of lack of training.

Another moronic idea from the head shed. How so many smart people can collectively act so stupidly will always puzzle me.
The good idea fairy wants their OER bullet before they retire.
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Old 10-18-2018, 7:07 AM
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The good idea fairy wants their OER bullet before they retire.
What's terribly frightening is that in order to get this idea off the ground, the androgynous winged little sprite had to con a lot of other people into believing that this was a good enough idea to get it into the system.

Good idea fairy visits us all once in a while, but to get this far, the fairy had to tag a lot of people in succession.
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Old 10-18-2018, 7:36 AM
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I'm glad that I am retiring soon.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:19 AM
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I looked at this hot mess just yesterday. As the Commander of a very small unit this is going to be and incredible pain in the ***. The equipment and scoring requirements are going to force me (actually, it will be the next guy as i expect to be gone before full implementation) to be dependent on higher for both equipment and people to score it. Realistically this will put me into a position of just falling in with that larger formation to get it done. This has never worked before since our mission requirements have us scattered around so so I can rarely have everyone on hand at one time.

As posted above, I'm glad I'm retiring soon.
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Old 10-18-2018, 1:24 PM
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Echo all the comments above: 1) leave it to the army to require a butt ton of equipment, 2) to grossly under-estimate the admin time, and 3) under-estimate injuries. I agree the current APFT is too simple to game and can be modernized, but this is going to take an entire day to run.
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Old 10-18-2018, 1:48 PM
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This is a very stupid idea. Thank goodness I will be retired when it’s implemented. We can barely get everyone together for muster as it is. What a colossal pain in the rear this is going to be.
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Old 10-20-2018, 6:54 PM
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The Marines added the combat fitness test a few years ago and radically changed (and made much harder) their physical fitness test last year.
Like the army uniforms...and pretty much everything else in the army...they saw that the Marines (through several years of research and testing) had made a change for the better and decided that they wanted in on that, so they made quick decisions with little thought behind it and ended up worse off than when they started.
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Old 10-20-2018, 7:38 PM
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I understand that this is a nightmare for PT. But what about as a whole body workout? Would it be decent for a dude wanting to get started from scratch?
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Old 10-20-2018, 8:48 PM
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I understand that this is a nightmare for PT. But what about as a whole body workout? Would it be decent for a dude wanting to get started from scratch?
As a workout, it is an awesome thing. I'd adopt it as PT for the unit, but I would NEVER allow myself to get trapped into making it into an actual test if I had a choice.

Apparently, I don't get a choice in this, so there's that. But as a full body workout, this could have some really awesome benefits, and could make for some awesome esprit de corps stuff.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:10 PM
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I understand that this is a nightmare for PT. But what about as a whole body workout? Would it be decent for a dude wanting to get started from scratch?

https://www.darebee.com/

Take a look around this website, tons of good stuff there. There's dozens of workouts to choose from, and a very brief video of each individual exercise if you don't know how to do it too.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:20 AM
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The Marines added the combat fitness test a few years ago and radically changed (and made much harder) their physical fitness test last year.
Like the army uniforms...and pretty much everything else in the army...they saw that the Marines (through several years of research and testing) had made a change for the better and decided that they wanted in on that, so they made quick decisions with little thought behind it and ended up worse off than when they started.
It was about 10 years ago. They had just started it my last year in. Except its only 3 events. 1/2 mile run. Ammo Can Lift. And a flat sprint obstacle course type deal where you have drag someone, throw a grenade into a box like 20 yards away, low crawl, and sprint with ammo cans. Its also done in boots and utes. Fairly simple and straight forward, and literally can be done anywhere with no special equipment.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:44 AM
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I looked at this hot mess just yesterday. As the Commander of a very small unit this is going to be and incredible pain in the ***. The equipment and scoring requirements are going to force me (actually, it will be the next guy as i expect to be gone before full implementation) to be dependent on higher for both equipment and people to score it. Realistically this will put me into a position of just falling in with that larger formation to get it done. This has never worked before since our mission requirements have us scattered around so so I can rarely have everyone on hand at one time.

As posted above, I'm glad I'm retiring soon.
This is what will happen to small units. The tests will now take all day or more, rather than an hour or 2. They will have to travel and be fed and housed in order to test with larger units. It will be a cluster. We already have people failing the APFT as it is. This will raise fail rates dramatically. The Reserves are already trying to get rid of chronic APFT failures and per Gen Lucky has a very high non-deployable rate, due to various reasons. This will up the ante.


ETA: As a physical therapist I can say with confidence that this will increase injury rates. People will overestimate their abilities and not train for this test, or will not have the means to train. The part that gets me:

"Standards will be identical for men and women, with no adjustments made for age."

That sucks! M vs F to same standards is a good thing but people will get very upset with their scores. I'm 44 and enjoy the bit of boost I get from my age, dammit!
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:13 AM
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It was about 10 years ago. They had just started it my last year in.
Meh...it was offically implemented in FY10, that is a few years ago I remember being a guinea pig for various iterations of it for a few years before that. I threw my back out something fierce when we were doing suicide squats with the ammo cans during one of those iterations.
The point being that the Marine Corps actually tested things first and removed events that caused injuries.
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Old 11-05-2018, 7:59 AM
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This will raise fail rates dramatically. The Reserves are already trying to get rid of chronic APFT failures and per Gen Lucky has a very high non-deployable rate, due to various reasons. This will up the ante!
Good.

I agree the proposed test is going to be a nightmare, particularly for reserve component. We try to do diagnostics regularly in addition to full record APFT twice yearly. With the equipment and manpower needed, how exactly is that supposed to work with units that drill once monthly?

I also agree that it will raise the fail rates, but I’m fine with that. The number of folks who can game the pushups and sit-ups and stagger through the run while having very little actual fitness is mind-boggling. With new orders that you are deplorable in 12 months or out (with exceptions for actual injuries and not just being horribly out of shape), I’m hoping this will motivate those worth keeping into actually losing the weight and getting into shape.

But how this will roll out in practice for RC is going to be ugly.
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Old 11-05-2018, 8:29 PM
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Good.

I agree the proposed test is going to be a nightmare, particularly for reserve component. We try to do diagnostics regularly in addition to full record APFT twice yearly. With the equipment and manpower needed, how exactly is that supposed to work with units that drill once monthly?

I also agree that it will raise the fail rates, but I’m fine with that. The number of folks who can game the pushups and sit-ups and stagger through the run while having very little actual fitness is mind-boggling. With new orders that you are deplorable in 12 months or out (with exceptions for actual injuries and not just being horribly out of shape), I’m hoping this will motivate those worth keeping into actually losing the weight and getting into shape.

But how this will roll out in practice for RC is going to be ugly.
The rollout will be disastrous for us.

I agree that the overweight and out of shape (no...round is NOT an acceptable shape) need to go, but this is not the way to do it. Under the above guidelines, they'd have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the expression goes. We only have to enforce the standards we already have. For example...you become medically flagged if you do not pass a PT test until you pass it. We were required to try every month until we passed it. After two official ones for record, you could be med-boarded and removed. But no...recruitment issues prevent us from holding the standards. Recruitment issues stemming from the inability of senior commanders to say no to some of the ridiculous things they make us do. But...I digress.

I'm in very good shape, and I could not pass that PT test without injury. Then they're going to tell me, a reservist, who has little access to the training items necessary to pass it, that he has 12 months (about 39 total days) to get up to speed or I'm done?

Even if it went the distance, it would have to change. The removal rate alone would force it.
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Old 11-06-2018, 2:31 PM
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This will raise fail rates dramatically. The Reserves are already trying to get rid of chronic APFT failures and per Gen Lucky has a very high non-deployable rate, due to various reasons. This will up the ante.

Every time a command submits a packet for PT failures only a very small percentage is actually processed. All the unit has to do is not do one thing right and the packet is scrapped.

as for Gen. Luckey I've seen the guy and I was not impressed at all. His time is almost up and another CAR will try and reinvent the wheel as most officers do.

you should see the requirements the USAR has for someone to be deploy-able. It's actually crazy. National Guard not so much pretty a pulse is all they need. I dealt with deploying units and USAR Soldiers have to 100% across the board to deploy where that doesn't apply to National Guard units.
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Old 11-06-2018, 4:53 PM
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Every time a command submits a packet for PT failures only a very small percentage is actually processed. All the unit has to do is not do one thing right and the packet is scrapped.

as for Gen. Luckey I've seen the guy and I was not impressed at all. His time is almost up and another CAR will try and reinvent the wheel as most officers do.

you should see the requirements the USAR has for someone to be deploy-able. It's actually crazy. National Guard not so much pretty a pulse is all they need. I dealt with deploying units and USAR Soldiers have to 100% across the board to deploy where that doesn't apply to National Guard units.

You've got that right. I am deploying next July and must be green across the board Or Else!
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Old 11-06-2018, 7:25 PM
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Every time a command submits a packet for PT failures only a very small percentage is actually processed. All the unit has to do is not do one thing right and the packet is scrapped.

as for Gen. Luckey I've seen the guy and I was not impressed at all. His time is almost up and another CAR will try and reinvent the wheel as most officers do.

you should see the requirements the USAR has for someone to be deploy-able. It's actually crazy. National Guard not so much pretty a pulse is all they need. I dealt with deploying units and USAR Soldiers have to 100% across the board to deploy where that doesn't apply to National Guard units.
For the Guard, the reason they don't process these packets is because the Guard is so hard up for people, that they are keeping people despite the failures, leading to an even uglier image of the Guard. And...they are waiving the medical flags in order to get people on orders for things, leading to an even fatter, more out of shape Guard. THAT IS unless you make someone upset...then it's in the gutter with you.

Watched an O6 last March waive his hand and POOF!...all of the APFT failures were on orders for AT, something that is not supposed to happen; especially with certain injuries. We had to go through the nutroll of case by case exceptions.

BTW...many of our APFT failures are leadership. I've seen the training schedules and by name rosters. Some of those people need to start turning down a few doughnuts here and there.

It's not that we don't have the same standards...we do. We just have people who are willing to throw caution to the wind sometimes and simply can NOT say no to any little thing to do, so we ignore them.

It's why I'm leaving the Guard.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:19 AM
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USAR is the same.

It's nearly impossible to get kicked out.

Regulation is 9 instances of non-attendance (effectively 4.5 days) and you are out. That has been raise to 28 (twenty eight). By time one actually does get around to 28 commands have changed at some level of the chain from Company all the way to the approval authority with the Commanding General and the packets just kind of meander around.

So basically, yea, they don't get out.

NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a TRANSGENDER soldier and they wanted out, and his time was up so he decided just to get out. Non judgement on my part either way.

I submitted his exit packet on a MONDAY, and the discharge orders were complete and delivered the following day on TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, the army wasn't giving any bias because some other lucky SOB solder that wanted out who's packet I also submitted that day also got processed just as fast.

***********

That all said, we did get a new commanding general, and she's cleaning house. I just recently got two soldiers discharged that I've been pushing for a long time. That said, I've been with this unit 4 years now (two as PL, and now commander), so myself and my full time staff have known about these two for a LONG time, and we've been keeping their packets out there just waiting for a 1 Star to come along and sign it.

Finally, we got that 1 Star, but those two soldiers had plenty of years to figure it out.
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Old 11-11-2018, 2:30 PM
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USAR is the same.

It's nearly impossible to get kicked out.

Regulation is 9 instances of non-attendance (effectively 4.5 days) and you are out. That has been raise to 28 (twenty eight). By time one actually does get around to 28 commands have changed at some level of the chain from Company all the way to the approval authority with the Commanding General and the packets just kind of meander around.

So basically, yea, they don't get out.

NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a TRANSGENDER soldier and they wanted out, and his time was up so he decided just to get out. Non judgement on my part either way.

I submitted his exit packet on a MONDAY, and the discharge orders were complete and delivered the following day on TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, the army wasn't giving any bias because some other lucky SOB solder that wanted out who's packet I also submitted that day also got processed just as fast.

***********

That all said, we did get a new commanding general, and she's cleaning house. I just recently got two soldiers discharged that I've been pushing for a long time. That said, I've been with this unit 4 years now (two as PL, and now commander), so myself and my full time staff have known about these two for a LONG time, and we've been keeping their packets out there just waiting for a 1 Star to come along and sign it.

Finally, we got that 1 Star, but those two soldiers had plenty of years to figure it out.
The reg is the same in the Guard...9 and you can go before a sep board. I've sat on the sep boards and the excuses are staggering. Apparently, excuses have a longer range than 0 meters like they did in the past.

Our leadership plays favorites. If you're part of the "in" crowd, you get benefits no one else gets. If not...the gutter for you.

The speed with which orders occur is staggering, if the unit wants them to happen. I saw orders processed as fast as 3 hours from company level generation to State level generation and presentation. The same set of orders taking almost one week at other times. No...it had nothing to do with workload. The workload was the same in both cases.
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Old 11-12-2018, 6:53 PM
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How is this hot mess going to work in boot camp? Do they REALLY expect that they will able to (in the time allotted) take some guy/girl off of the street and get them to pass it even at the minimum acceptable level? Good luck with that with kids these days...
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Old 11-12-2018, 7:21 PM
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I wonder how many back injuries will occur before they realize these new standards suck. I love deadlifts, but when done incorrectly with poor form will blow out your back. Same with the power throw - use your legs and hips, great. Use your back and your screwed.

How about sticking with the basics - push-ups, sit-ups and twisting sit-ups, timed runs, and partner carries simulating an injured soldier.
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:10 PM
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How is this hot mess going to work in boot camp? Do they REALLY expect that they will able to (in the time allotted) take some guy/girl off of the street and get them to pass it even at the minimum acceptable level? Good luck with that with kids these days...
In Basic Training it will work fine. Cadre will have all the time in the world and access to equipment to do the tasks.

OUTSIDE of that is going to be the problem. Units will maybe get the equipment at some point, but when? Then once they have it it's going to greatly add to the time needed to execute the event for record.

Now, I still haven't SEEN the standards. As I understand it they are going to be ONE standard for both sexes so perhaps this actually lowers the difficulty for most.
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Old 11-13-2018, 5:17 PM
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As I understand it they are going to be ONE standard for both sexes so perhaps this actually lowers the difficulty for most.
It will need to be a % of bodyweight then and not just a random weight amount.
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Old 11-13-2018, 8:13 PM
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In Basic Training it will work fine. Cadre will have all the time in the world and access to equipment to do the tasks.

OUTSIDE of that is going to be the problem. Units will maybe get the equipment at some point, but when? Then once they have it it's going to greatly add to the time needed to execute the event for record.

Now, I still haven't SEEN the standards. As I understand it they are going to be ONE standard for both sexes so perhaps this actually lowers the difficulty for most.
Bingo. Let's do the math.

Let's say that it takes 1 whole day to run the "new" APFT. For reservists/NG, that would be 1/39 of our entire training year. That is approximately 2.6% of our total training time for a single requirement.

For the active duty folks, that training % is:
---1/365, if you count the whole year.
---1/252 if you only count Monday - Friday.
---1/222 if you only count M-F minus federal holidays and the time associated with them (this is approximate).

In all cases, it is an almost insignificant amount of time for them. This is for only ONE day.

To make the percentage the same, it would mean losing over NINE days of ACTUAL training time, not including weekends and holidays if you use the 365 day year and almost 6 days if you use 222 workdays for the active duty.

I guess the Guard and Reserves were left behind when they were thinking about it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 4:40 PM
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Bingo. Let's do the math.
Sir, mathematically the USAR/NG doesn't work.

Now, common core math, perhaps, but that generation hasn't entered the ranks of leadership yet.
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Old 11-14-2018, 6:44 PM
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Sir, mathematically the USAR/NG doesn't work.

Now, common core math, perhaps, but that generation hasn't entered the ranks of leadership yet.
What do you mean it doesn't work? 24 days of training plus 15 days AT = 39 days. I made a presupposition that it would take one day, but that was based on a company level training event and may have been optimistic. 1/39 = .0256 or 2.56%

Admittedly, Guard and USAR have a few small things different, ie I think USAR has 13 or 14 day ATs, but it is largely the same for purposes of the calculations.

The point was that Reserve units have to put a HUGE percentage of their time into this debacle as opposed to active army, something that apparently no one gave thought to.

Oh...and common core math: that's been solidly in place for approximately 6 years. The ignorance that it is causing is coming sooner than we think. I teach math at the high school level. It's coming and the junior colleges are already catering/pandering to the leftist agenda that proposed it. But that is a topic for another thread.
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Last edited by Supersapper; 11-14-2018 at 6:47 PM..
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Old 11-14-2018, 8:59 PM
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What do you mean it doesn't work?
I was being sarcastic with my math remark. Timewise, the USAR is already negative. Sure, add it to the pile, and we’ll just blow something else off. At the end of the day we all have work on Monday, and the USAR doesn't pay the bills.

It's always "do another thing on top of everything else", and reality is, if it doesn't prevent promotion, or isn't an action that results in one getting kicked out then there isn't a mechanism to enforce it gets done.

Record APFT's are of course a requirement and will "get done", but a cost of other things that can be blown off. Also, the training data entry system will have to be updated to reflect the new events to be scored, and rolled into the current system for flagging soldiers for failures.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:24 PM
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I was being sarcastic with my math remark. Timewise, the USAR is already negative. Sure, add it to the pile, and we’ll just blow something else off. At the end of the day we all have work on Monday, and the USAR doesn't pay the bills.

It's always "do another thing on top of everything else", and reality is, if it doesn't prevent promotion, or isn't an action that results in one getting kicked out then there isn't a mechanism to enforce it gets done.

Record APFT's are of course a requirement and will "get done", but a cost of other things that can be blown off. Also, the training data entry system will have to be updated to reflect the new events to be scored, and rolled into the current system for flagging soldiers for failures.
Sorry...missed the sarcasm. I looked back at the whole thing and missed the fact that you are saying that by the laws of physics, mathematics and the known universe, the Guard and USAR should not be able to exist. Which thing would be a correct statement.

The Guard has already done away with a number of the onerous training tasks that are online, in part because soldiers can never get them done and all it does is keep the commanders in the red on their readiness.

Can't wait to see how this all plays out. They can't even cut my orders correctly. How are they going to do this right?

I see an awful lot of magic wand waiving happening on both the NG and the USAR side.
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