MILITARY FITNESS STANDARDS AND TESTS

Test Protocols

We addressed the issue of physical fitness requirements for military service in Chapter 2. As noted there, each Service routinely tests the physical fitness of its personnel. Administration of these tests is highly decentralized; tests are usually administered at the unit level, wherever in the world that unit happens to be located. The Services have implemented instructions to help ensure that these tests are administered in a standardized fashion regardless of unit or location. For example, the Army notes: “The APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test] consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run, done in that order on the same day. Soldiers are allowed a minimum of ten minutes and a maximum of twenty minutes rest between events. All three events must be completed within two hours. The test period is defined as the period of time that elapses from the start to the finish of the three events” (U.S. Department of the Army, 2005:5). Table 4-3 displays the components of each Service’s physical fitness assessment.

Fitness Standards

The Services take physical fitness seriously. As noted by a joint-Service workshop (Military Operational Medicine Research Program, 1999):

All military personnel, regardless of occupational specialty, unit assignment, age, or gender should acquire a base level of general physical fitness. This physical fitness promotes a standard of physical readiness

TABLE 4-3 Military Service Physical Fitness Test Components

 

Army

Navy

Air Force

Marine Corps

Aerobic capacity

2-mile run

1.5-mile run

1.5-mile run

3-mile run

Upper body muscular fitness

Push-ups

(2 minutes)

Push-ups

(2 minutes)

Push-ups

(1 minute)

Pull-ups (men)

Flexed arm hang (women)

Abdominal muscular fitness

Sit-ups

(2 minutes)

Curl-ups

(2 minutes)

Crunches

(1 minute)

Crunches

(2 minutes)

 

SOURCE: Adapted from Singer et al. (2002).

 



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