We all knew this day was coming.
The Army has now reduced their fitness standards so that more women can pass the fitness test and remain in the service:
MILITARY.COM – The Army unveiled its controversial new fitness test on Wednesday, a dramatically revamped set of requirements for soldiers that replace standards created in 1983 after years of limbo and broad skepticism from many in the service, including the secretary of the Army.
The most significant changes to the six-event ACFT is that it no longer is meant to prepare soldiers for combat but instead built as a general fitness assessment. It will also have different scoring standards for men and women across different age groups, in most cases lowering them, following a congressionally mandated report from Rand Corp, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, that found nearly half of the service’s women could not pass earlier standards for the test.
For example, a female soldier between 17 and 21 years old now has to deadlift between 120 and 210 lbs. while a male soldier has to lift between 140 and 340 lbs. In that same age group, female soldiers have to run two miles between 23:22 and 15:29 minutes while male soldiers must perform that exercise between 22 and 13:22 minutes. That minimum run time for male soldiers is a minute longer than the previous version of the ACFT that the Army previously trialed, following data showing the run is by far the most failed event for both genders.
Leg tucks are totally eliminated as the event to measure core strength, with planks taking their place. The rest of the test still includes the deadlift, hand-release pushups, the standing power throw, two-mile run and the sprint, drag, carry. Test designers were concerned that the leg tuck doesn’t strictly measure core muscle strength but also requires that a soldier spend a lot of energy on upper-body and grip strength. Previously, the plank was introduced as an alternative event during the ACFT’s beta phase when it was discovered women were struggling with the leg tucks.
This all goes back to 2015 when the Obama administration allowed women into combat roles, right before allowing transgenders into the military:
Steam picked up for Army planners to create a new test around the time when combat arms jobs such as the infantry and cavalry were opened to women in 2015. The force initially sought to create a gender-neutral test and attempted to juggle dueling goals of creating a more inclusive force while also creating a fitter force.
But damning findings from Rand Corp. and concerns over the retention and recruitment of women crushed that ambition. Researchers at Rand found that only 52% of enlisted active-duty women were able to pass the original design for the ACFT, compared to 92% of men in their congressionally mandated study released Wednesday. Only 42% of women in the National Guard and 41% in the Reserve could pass.
Pass rates among officers are slightly higher with 72% of women passing, compared to 96% of men on active duty. 57% of female officers in the National Guard and 49% in the Reserve passed the ACFT during Rand’s study, which compiled scores from 2019 to September 2021.
This is exactly what we predicted. A high percentage of women can’t pass the test so they change the test to accommodate them. And this applies to transgender women too, right? Of course it does.
Now, instead of the initial aim of having the ACFT built for combat, part of the rationale for changing the fitness standards and, in many cases, lowering those standards, the force said the test is now a measure of general fitness. Yet, Army officials are not rebranding the test and keeping the word “combat” in its name.
“The Army decided to implement the test as a general physical fitness assessment, as opposed to one designed to predict performance on a set of tasks,” Brig. Gen. Scott Naumann, director of training for the Army, told reporters.
Biden is now continuing the fundamental transformation of our military that began under Obama and it won’t turn out well. Right now it’s just a fitness test. Before long it will the combat test as well and military performance will suffer.