Two changes to the Army’s physical fitness requirements will remain in place for the 2021 fiscal year. Recruits and Soldiers graduating from initial entrance training courses will no longer be required to pass a fitness test to graduate outside of the general physical testing of the course. In addition, failing scores of the new accepted fitness test of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) replacing the Physical Fitness Test will not be counted against soldiers.
New recruits or Soldiers graduating from Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, One Station Unit Training, Warrant Office Basic Course and the Basic Officer leader course will no longer be required to pass a fitness test to graduate. This temporary suspension begins with the new fiscal year of October 1, 2020 and will remain in place until September 30, 2021, the end of the fiscal year. This temporary suspension will align the trainees to the fitness test policy of the rest of the Army.
In 2019, the Army began requiring trainees to pass the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) to graduate from the training courses, allowing a passing grade even if failing one of the events. Beginning October 1, 2020, the ACFT became the gold standard, the only accepted fitness test replacing the Army Physical Fitness Test. The fitness test was made of six events: 3 repetition maximum deadlift (MDL), standing power throw (SPT), hand release push-up – arm extension (HRP), spring-drag-carry (SDC), leg tuck (LTK) and 2-mild run (2MR). The tests were designed to test flexibility, agility, endurance and strength. However, given the decreased availability for training and testing during the pandemic, failing score will not be counted in the 2021 fiscal year.
The new ACFT testing required new equipment and gear to be distributed to all initial military training locations and duty stations. Coupled with the pandemic restrictions in place for several months in 2020, there was decreased time and ability to train for the ACFT. With the equipment now in place in most locations, Soldiers will begin training and using the equipment to take the ACFT. Training resources for preparing for the ACFT are available here.