The Army is struggling to maintain physical fitness standards, and this is something I guess none of us should be shocked by in the least. The Department of the Army’s G3 put out the newest numbers for the Army’s diagnostic ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test) results, and they’re just south of awful.
Out of 976,764 soldiers Army wide, only 345,221 have taken the test, and only 303,161 passed, which leaves 42,060 failing, or 12.2% of the total force who have taken it. That’s comforting; 50% of our Army haven’t taken a fitness test, and of those who have, a tenth can’t pass it which has already seen its standards change to appease a community which felt that it was discriminatory to be required to pull your body weight up.
Why are so many failing though, and why have so few taken the test at all? The answer can be traced back to the COVID lockdowns and the Army’s desperate need to push bodies out into the force, whether they had completed the basic requirements to be called a soldier or not.
In the fall of 2020, when COVID lockdowns were at the height of their frenzy and the world was still trying to figure out if the virus was going to kill everyone’s grandma, the Army was putting out guidance to basic training installations to disregard the ACFT and APFT (the old PT test the Army used to administer) altogether and simply graduate their recruits if they had a pulse and could moderately point their weapon in the direction of the enemy.
Now, it would appear, we’re seeing the results of those decisions come to fruition as the Army not only battles an epidemic of obesity, but is now battling the headwinds of a force which is struggling to pass or even take a fitness test.
I wonder if the Sergeant Major of the Army is as concerned about the physical fitness of the Army as he is in making sure soldiers get food stamps to survive the harsh economy or attend their annual transgender training. Clearly the Army’s priorities are in sync with the United State’s national security needs.