Update: Army Adjusting the ACFT

 

ACFT Updated by the Army

The U.S. Army is moving into the next phase of an effort to replace the current, three-event Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with the new, six-event fitness assessment after completing a yearlong field test of the Army Combat Fitness Test  (ACFT) involving 63 battalions of active-duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers.

The testing has suggested some changes were needed to the grading criteria. Current soldiers across all three components of the Army will begin taking the ACFT for practice until October 2020, when it will become the service's official test of record.


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Standards Revised for Black, Gray & Gold Soldiers

According to a press release from the Army, the updated ACFT standards are shown on a chart that shows scores for each of the six events all the way up to the maximum score. The chart also highlights the minimum scores soldiers must meet for three categories: Black for soldiers in "heavy" physically demanding units or jobs; Gray for soldiers in "significant" physically demanding units or jobs; and Gold for soldiers in "moderate" physically demanding units or jobs.

Gold also represents the overall Army minimum standard for passing the ACFT.

The initial, ACFT standards were as follows:

  • Black, for 70 points. 180 pounds on the strength deadlift; 8.5 meters for the power throw; 30 hand-release push-ups; 2 minutes, 9 seconds for the sprint, drag and carry; 5 leg tucks; and 18 minutes for the two-mile run.
  • Gray, for 65 points. 160 pounds on the strength deadlift; 6.5 meters for the power throw; 20 hand-release push-ups; 2 minutes, 45 seconds for the sprint, drag and carry; 3 leg tucks; and 19 minutes for the two-mile run.
  • Gold, the Army minimum standard, for 60 points. 140 pounds for the strength deadlift; 4.6 meters for the power throw; 10 hand-release push-ups; 3 minutes, 35 seconds for the sprint, drag and carry; 1 leg tuck; and 21 minutes, 7 seconds for the two-mile run.

As noted in this article, the updated ACFT standards have been slightly changed. The minimum requirement for the strength deadlift in Black increased from 180 pounds to 200 pounds, and the Gray increased from 160 pounds to 180 pounds.

The minimum score for the standing power throw dropped from 8.5 meters to 8 meters in Black; in Gold, the minimum standard dropped 4.6 meters to 4.5 meters. The maximum possible score dropped from 13.5 to 12.5 meters.

The minimum score for the sprint-drag-carry for Black slowed slightly from 2 minutes, 9 seconds to 2 minutes 10 seconds. The Gray standard sped up from 2 minutes, 45 seconds to 2 minutes, 30 seconds. And the Gold sped up from 3 minutes, 35 seconds to 3 minutes.

The standards for the leg tuck remain unchanged from the original plan.

The minimum standard for Gold on the two-mile run sped up from 21 minutes, 7 seconds to 21 minutes.

The maximum score on the ACFT for the two-mile run slowed from 12 minutes, 45 seconds to 13 minutes, 30 seconds,  

The Push-Up Event Has Also Changed

The field-testing has encouraged the service to change the type of push-up required by the ACFT. This event will now require arm-extension push-ups. It had previously been a hand-release push-up.

US Army Soldier doing ACFT Pushups

According to a press release from the Army, The minimum standards remain unchanged, but the maximum possible score dropped from 70 hand-release push-ups to 60 arm-extension push-ups.

To complete arm-extension push-ups, soldiers start chest down and do a traditional push-up. Then, after returning to the down position, they move their arms outward, followed by going in to do another push-up. 

The ACFT is Tough but Critical

"Physical fitness is fundamental to sustained Army readiness," Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston said. "We must have highly trained, disciplined and physically fit soldiers capable of winning on any battlefield. The ACFT, specifically linked to common warfighting tasks, will help us assess and improve the individual readiness of the force."

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