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New PT Test Could Cut Injuries, Improve Readiness

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U.S. Army
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Unveiling a new, strenuous fitness test, the Army recognizes it will have to spend some money to achieve what it believes will be big savings in reduced costs for treating injuries while also having a more combat-ready force.

The Army Combat Fitness Test, to be field-tested beginning in October with about 40,000 soldiers, has a roughly $20 million price tag for new testing equipment but could reduce the $4 billion a year spent on injuries, accidents and other health-related issues.

The six-part test comprises a dead lift, leg tucks, standing power throw, hand-release pushups, a sprint-drag-carry run and a 2-mile run that Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commander of the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training, said will reduce musculoskeletal injuries, reduce attrition from the Army and “save, in the long run, the Army a heck of a lot of money.”

Field testing will involve Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. While six years of research have gone into the new test, officials said refinements are possible based on the assessment.

By October 2020, the Army Combat Fitness Test is expected to replace the current three-event Army Physical Fitness Test, which the Army has used since 1980.