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I’d be genuinely surprised if the move from boots to trainers for the BFT has anything to do with the end of the WRAC. More related to a massive rise in lower limb injuries in the mid 80s to 90s coincident with the introduction of the BCH, later followed by the BCA and also the replacement of the black / white dap by the silver shadow trainer.

interestingly, I have started wearing barefoot trainers - remarkably similar to running the APFA around Old College and double endurance on Barossa in white daps.
It would seem that prior to 1977 there was no fitness test for servicewomen. In 1977 a simple step test was introduced.

This takes forever to load but quite interesting.

 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
It would seem that prior to 1977 there was no fitness test for servicewome. In 1977 a simple step test was introduced.

This takes forever to load but quite interesting.

I was told by old and bold that until 1977, or there abouts, there were no compulsory fitness tests to speak of. They talked about the 10 mile bash as the only sort of test. Basically a fast walk with platoon weapons.
I remember doing the step test (up, up, down, down) at Depot, and maybe a couple of times in Battalion.
 
The current world record for 5000 m is 12:37 and you were 5 minute faster than that.
Public Service Information point, to avoid any misunderstandings...

While a BFT was conducted over three miles, the first mile-and-a-half was always done squadded, at a fixed pace. When people talk about "under nine minutes", or "7:44", they're talking about their time for the "individual best effort" phase, namely the second mile-and-a-half. So, 7:44 is just over five-minute mile pace, and definitely achievable

I think I managed to beat eight minutes, just once - Fort George, dead flat, a tailwind, last BFT I did as OC Recce, and determined not to have that fast little sod from Motherwell catch me
 
Public Service Information point, to avoid any misunderstandings...

While a BFT was conducted over three miles, the first mile-and-a-half was always done squadded, at a fixed pace. When people talk about "under nine minutes", or "7:44", they're talking about their time for the "individual best effort" phase, namely the second mile-and-a-half. So, 7:44 is just over five-minute mile pace, and definitely achievable

I think I managed to beat eight minutes, just once - Fort George, dead flat, a tailwind, last BFT I did as OC Recce, and determined not to have that fast little sod from Motherwell catch me
If I remember, and it was a while ago, didn’t the old and bold get to do the whole lot at their own pace, so while everyone was walking in the squared mile and a half (15 mins I think) they would go bimbling past to be overtaken again as the squad jogged past them, and repeat :)
 
If I remember, and it was a while ago, didn’t the old and bold get to do the whole lot at their own pace, so while everyone was walking in the squared mile and a half (15 mins I think) they would go bimbling past to be overtaken again as the squad jogged past them, and repeat :)
Not sure whether that isn't a mix of BFT for young'uns, and a Tickle Test for coffin dodgers... note that the "Tickle Test" wasn't just about fitness; there was also IIRC a Tickle Test for Skill-At-Arms.

Effectively, the whole thing was a unit MATTs competition across the Army. As a wild guess, General Tickle was an Inspector-General of something or other (Infantry? Readiness?), and came up with a bright idea[1] to measure effectiveness across the whole of a unit, not just a small team of Battalion Gladiators. The aim was for simple/standard tests (three-mile run, the APWT) was to be carried out across the entire unit, and the average scores and results to count in a competition.

For some reason, ISTR that the WFR used to do rather well at the shooting side of it...

[1] Yes, it was most likely a hard working Staff Officer whose proposal and hard work got named after the boss. Maybe he got an MBE out of the deal. Or perhaps he was happy to avoid being widely known as "that bloke who causes us all a massive ballache every year". Who knows....
 

Kefi

Old-Salt
This week's term for 'what happened in my training phase' as CARRPS observed earlier and as I observed earlier we managed to fight all the big wars [Napoleonic, WW1, WW2] without any fitness standard.
It's worth considering that if you look at the relative size and weight of ordinary men in the 1800's most of the men were no taller and actually lighter than a modern woman.

A very intersting point & well worth talking about, my first thoughts would be that the 1st two you mention men were inlisted as cannon fodder. Hight wight, eyesight were not a major issue & disease was prevalent so as long as they could move from A to B thats all that mattered. Things had improved during WW2 so conditioning was stepped up, add to that the inovation of the airborne & commandos as well as the SF units physical fitness became a necessity. We could muster an army today that has no physical standards in theory.
 
That would be wars that we lost millions in eh "prof"?
But hey if we allude fitness standards are unnecessary we don't have worry about them.
If you really are going suggest that the casualties of WW1 wouldn't have happened if they could all have passed a BFT then may be it's time we raised the education standards for the army.
 
No. My 5000m was 16:08. My best BFT in trainers a smidgen under 7 minutes. I represented the Army at the marathon on and off for 15 years.
Then we're not talking about a 3 mile [4.82km] time here, my mistake in assuming we were.
 
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Public Service Information point, to avoid any misunderstandings...

While a BFT was conducted over three miles, the first mile-and-a-half was always done squadded, at a fixed pace. When people talk about "under nine minutes", or "7:44", they're talking about their time for the "individual best effort" phase, namely the second mile-and-a-half. So, 7:44 is just over five-minute mile pace, and definitely achievable.
Noted, although the answer is not in my unit, we were frequently just sent out for 3 miles and timed accordingly. Possibly due to the number of oldies in my squadron the start was often handicapped so we all came home to the line in a pass/fail scenario.
 
A very interesting point & well worth talking about, my first thoughts would be that the 1st two you mention men were enlisted as cannon fodder. Height wight, eyesight were not a major issue & disease was prevalent so as long as they could move from A to B that's all that mattered. Things had improved during WW2 so conditioning was stepped up, add to that the innovation of the airborne & commandos as well as the SF units physical fitness became a necessity. We could muster an army today that has no physical standards in theory.
In my view your argument might just hold up for the line infantry of the Napoleonic wars, certainly not for the light infantry, cavalry or artillery. In view of some of the negative comment on British infantry in NW Europe in 1944/45 I've read/heard I'm also not convinced that things improved between WW1 and WW2.
 
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There is no 3 mile fitness test and never has been one.
Well call me pedantic but if I'm told to run 3 miles and given a time limit I consider that a 3 mile test. I have an indelible memory of one performed in early March somewhere on the edge of Sheffield at about 06:00. We were started in age groups, oldest first, at timed intervals so that we all needed to get back at the same time for a pass. Then it was 1.5 miles downhill and 1.5 miles back up again. The downhill was worst as it was borderline freezing so the road surface was slippery in patches. The gradient was steep enough for some old fashioned 1950's Steep Hill signs, which I believe means 1:7 or worse. We were all in trainers, but most of us scrubbed the running kit and did it in denims and at least a Norgie. I'm pretty sure one or two had their woolly pulleys on.

Maybe this was a TA/Yeomanry special, but it got me my bounty so I wasn't fussed.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Well call me pedantic but if I'm told to run 3 miles and given a time limit I consider that a 3 mile test. I have an indelible memory of one performed in early March somewhere on the edge of Sheffield at about 06:00. We were started in age groups, oldest first, at timed intervals so that we all needed to get back at the same time for a pass. Then it was 1.5 miles downhill and 1.5 miles back up again. The downhill was worst as it was borderline freezing so the road surface was slippery in patches. The gradient was steep enough for some old fashioned 1950's Steep Hill signs, which I believe means 1:7 or worse. We were all in trainers, but most of us scrubbed the running kit and did it in denims and at least a Norgie. I'm pretty sure one or two had their woolly pulleys on.

Maybe this was a TA/Yeomanry special, but it got me my bounty so I wasn't fussed.
Looks like an in-house fudge so people didn't fail the proper test, ie using the extra time allowed for the warm-up and stretching that into the second half. Wouldn't want people dipping out on their bounty, after all.
 
If you really are going suggest that the casualties of WW1 wouldn't have happened if they could all have passed a BFT then may be it's time we raised the education standards for the army.
Its a good thing that nobody did suggest that isn't it otherwise you might have a point.
But undoubtedly there were some casualties if there wasn't any fitness tests. Something that you want to ignore.
For a "Prof" it's is utterly stupid to allude that we don't need fitness tests because of wars in which millions of our soldiers who didn't have fitness tests, died.
 
Looks like an in-house fudge so people didn't fail the proper test, i.e. using the extra time allowed for the warm-up and stretching that into the second half. Wouldn't want people dipping out on their bounty, after all.
Normally I ambled round and finished well inside the under 30's time despite being older. That year I barely managed to get in in time and there were plenty behind me on the hill, who were made to repeat at a later date. Yes they were probably made to repeat and repeat until they passed, but effectively that got them fit.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Errr.... the Tickle Test. Straight three miles, best effort.

Now, if you say that the "Brecon two-miler" / "Stamina Assessment Test" weren't an official thing, I'll be shocked, shocked, I tell you...
Good point, but we're on about the BFT.
 
Then it was 1.5 miles downhill and 1.5 miles back up again.
Cruel. We once ran our BFT in Holyrood Park; 1.5 miles on a steady uphill, turn around, 1.5 miles on a steady downhill. Ever-so-slightly too steep to make it effortless, I suspect that our OC had a brainwave...

My gentle subaltern devilment that day had come from asking the new WRAC recruit from our platoon location to do the test alongside the blokes, as she'd already passed her official (two miles in plimsoles) BFT for her Bounty. When someone joins, still at school, and lists their hobbies as "running"...

...she came fifth in the Company. I beat her, I got to watch my best man damn-near kill himself to finish in front of her. We lost young Karen to Aberdeen UOTC the next year, where she discovered SCUBA and alcohol....
 

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