There’s a reason why the slogan “Army strong” exists. These soldiers are put through grueling activities every single day in order to prepare themselves for battle, survival, and saving their comrades. From sprinting and sweating in full gear, soldiers are often prone to experience nearly as much difficulty in their training as they do in the field. But now, they’re about to make it even harder.
By October 2020, every single person in the Army will be expected to complete a far more difficult test than the one they currently have to do. As of now, all that is required of them to pass the test is to do a certain amount of sit-ups and pushups, as well as doing a two-mile run. But it’s about to change.
Army Major General Malcolm Frost believes that it isn’t enough. On DailyMail UK, he says, “We had a high number of nondeployable soldiers that had a lot of muscular/skeletal injuries and medical challenges because we hadn’t trained them from a fitness perspective in the right way. The goal is about having a more combat-ready army.”
However, it’s not only combat soldiers who will have to pass this test to make it into the army. Intel soldiers and those who spend most of their days behind a desk will be expected to pass the test as well.
That’s not all the changes though. The test will no longer have separate passing scores for different ages and genders. As Sergeant Major Harold Sampson said, “It breaks the mindset of ‘I am an intel soldier. It changes it to ‘I am a soldier,’ because bullets on the battlefield don’t discriminate.”
Sixty-three battalions are in the process of administering this new test. It sounds to me like they are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their soldiers in combat and are trying to account for every possibility. It might be a step in the right direction.
And yet, some people are worried about it. Since the test begins with deadlifts, some soldiers think that this unneeded strain on your back will create for a more dangerous and continued run. Having to deadlift and then throw a medicine ball seems like maybe it could be a recipe for disaster. If they are hoping to decrease the chances a soldier makes it less than three years because of skeletal muscle injuries, then this seems like maybe it could be counterproductive.
The exercises are meant to mimic certain battle actions like carrying a wounded soldier, running away from fire, and carrying oil cans to trucks. Since these actions may be put to the test in the future, then maybe those who are complaining are the ones who aren’t thinking of the best for the soldiers.
Either way, it looks like some changes are being made and that everyone in the Army will be completing this test in due time. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t steer any prospective heroes away.
What do you think about this new test?
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