|Army Combat Readiness Test ACRT
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New Army Combat Readiness Test aims to replace APFT
FORT LEE, Va. -- About 120 Fort Lee Soldiers had a chance to take the new Army
Combat Readiness Test (ACRT), which gauges Soldiers on five components of physical
fitness -- muscular and aerobic endurance, muscular strength, speed/agility and explosive
power. Since 1980, the current Army Physical Fitness Test has only measured the first
Developed by the Army Center for Initial Military Training, the new test aims to better
prepare Soldiers for their warrior tasks and battle drills, as well as other physically
While the ACRT still keeps the 2-mile run as its final event, it introduces five others to
provide a broad measurement of a Soldier's physical fitness.
"The Army has always used a physical fitness test as a tool for commanders to determine
whether their Soldiers are prepared to do their mission," said Whitfield East, a research
physiologist with CIMT. "[This is] a better assessment. It's better because it's more
-- Deadlift: With a proposed weight range of 120 to 420 pounds, the deadlift event is
similar to the one found in the Occupational Physical Assessment Test, or OPAT, which
is now given to new recruits to assess lower-body strength before they are placed into a
best-fit career field. The ACRT will require Soldiers to perform three deadlifts (only one in
OPAT) and the weights will be increased. The event can simulate picking up ammunition
boxes, a wounded battle buddy, duffel bags or other heavy equipment.
-- Standing power throw: Soldiers toss a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible to
test muscular explosive power that may be needed to lift themselves or a fellow Solider
up over an obstacle or to move rapidly across uneven terrain.
-- T-pushup: In this event, Soldiers start in the prone position and do a traditional pushup,
but when at the down position they move their arms outward and then back in to do
another pushup. This allows for additional upper body muscles to be exercised.
-- Sprint/drag/carry: As they dash 25 meters five times up and down a lane, Soldiers will
perform sprints, drag a sled weighing 90 pounds, and then hand-carry two 40-pound
kettlebell weights. This can simulate pulling a battle buddy out of harm's way, moving
quickly to take cover, or carrying ammunition to a fighting position or vehicle.
-- Leg tuck: Similar to a pullup, Soldiers lift their legs up and down to touch their
knees/thighs to their elbows as many times as they can. This exercise strengthens the
core muscles since it doubles the amount of force required compared to a traditional
-- 2-mile run: Same event as on the current test. In the ACRT, run scores are expected to
be a bit slower due to all of the other strenuous activity.
Test scoring hasn't been decided yet, but it could be up to 100 points for each event like
the APFT, officials say. There will be a minimum score required in each event to meet
The ACRT pilot is slated to head to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, which like Fort Lee
is another hub for initial entry training. In August, the pilot was held at Joint Base
Lewis-McChord, Washington, to test the Army Rangers and elements of the
Up to 2,000 Soldiers could get the opportunity to participate in the pilot and give feedback
in surveys after they complete the test.
At Fort Lee, Sgt. Bruna Galarza found the test to be tough, but appreciated the emphasis
on muscular strength during the events.
"This is actually what you're going to be doing," she said. "I know when I went to
Afghanistan I had to carry the [M249 squad automatic weapon] as well as ammunition and
Staff Sgt. Joel Demillo, who was one of the graders, called the ACRT a better "yardstick"
at measuring one's fitness over the current test.
When he deployed to Iraq as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, Demillo said he faced many
physically demanding tasks when he had to recover vehicles.
"You never get to the battlefield and you're 100 percent fresh," he said. "So how much
more can you push your body? Doing that 2-mile run after those five events is taxing your
body from head to toe. I think it correlates to something you might have to deal with in
combat." >> Watch Soldiers taking the ACRT >>