Fort Polk Military Police are introduced to Army’s new combat fitness test

Updated: Jan. 30, 2019 at 3:31 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Army Mobile Training Team is traveling the world preparing soldiers for a new combat fitness test.

Wednesday morning, the team stopped by the 519th Military Police Battalion in Fort Polk. The test was called “intense.”

“Demands way more from you,” 204th Military Police Company Staff Sergeant Raul Galvan said.

For almost 40 years, the Army Physical Fitness Test consisted of push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. After years of study, the military branch is changing the way it determines a soldier’s physical fitness.

“It tests more components of fitness than the old one did,” 519th Military Police Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Sonja Whitehead said, “And they are more in line with what we would do in combat.”

Unlike the original, the Army Combat Fitness Test is age and gender neutral.

“The combat doesn’t discriminate about race, gender, sex—it doesn’t. The battle field is nondiscriminatory,” Mobile Training Team Captain Justin McCaw said.

Soldiers are required to complete a series of five tests in order to pass.

“The standards right now that we have are three different categories depending on what your M.O.S. is in the Army, so the gold, grey, and black standard,” McCaw said.

Soliders must first complete a dead-lift. After resting, they do medicine ball throws and push-ups.

“Dead-lift; so you’re picking up a lot of weight. When you’re trying to load the truck up with ammo, the ammo can be heavy,” Galvan said.

After that, soldiers complete a timed circuit, followed by rest, pull-ups, and a two-mile run.

“Sled, drag, and pull; whenever you’re trying to drag somebody in combat, they got dead weight and it feels just like it when you’re pulling it,” Galvan said. “You’re legs get heavy and it’s tough for you to move. You got to battle through that.”

Galvan has seen combat and says this is an accurate test of abilities needed in action.

“Back in combat, you have to be fast and quick-moving and with this test to implement it, makes me feel like I was back there again,” Galvan said.

The military police being tested today will soon be administering the test to other soldiers.

“This test will challenge soldiers, but I think every soldier is up to that task,” Whitehead said.

Soldiers across the world will be introduced to the test this October. Then in October of 2020, the Army Combat Fitness Test will be the new standard for all soldiers.

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