Unable to pass a BPFA is unacceptable. We must remember that we are soldiers first and tradesmen second. The 'B' stands for BASIC, if this level of fitness cannot be met then the individual should not be allowed to serve in the best army in the world.
The B stands for Basic
The P for Physical
The F for Fitness
The A for Assessment
How do you fail an Assessment that is designed to assess the requirement for unit and individual fitness training?
As I understand it you cannot fail a BPFA you can merely be graded Red, Amber or Green. The BPFA is also an assessment based on running a mile and a half, doing sit ups and doing press ups, when was the last time you did any trade or military related thing (except in a gymnasium) that required you to do a sit up? Now if it was unloading and loading scam 12 masts onto a RR truck 44 times in two minutes that would be a trade related Physical Fitness Assessment.
Welcome the new world of bodged and unfailable tests our political masters have inflicted upon us.
Accompanying this are political codes of behaviour requiring you penalise all reliable, hard working individuals in favour of useless slackers, who are clearly only like that because we have failed to recognise their extra needs, thus making them the useless miscreants they have become....plese do not adjust your sets if you do not agree with these views, a counsellor will visit you shortly to adjust your views until you are on message!!!!
Re education is what the BPFA is all about. If an individual fails ie, amber or red then he should be put on remedials to get him to standard, but not just so that the individual can pass but maybee even change his life style leading to a healthier individual. If we were to kick everyone out for failing then we would be even more under manned than we are at the minute and as for soldier first trade second i have to admit that i have never had to really soldier first at all in fifteen years but doing my trade has been more important and thats after 4 operational tours. Not everyone are fitness freaks but maybee need some coercion into getting involved.
Well it might only be an assessment, but it is the minimum base line, and if you are not fit enough to pass it, then perhaps all the pie munchers out there need to take a good long hard look at themselves, stop winging about being a soldier first, and get running. You need to be fit to be an effective member of any team in the Army, including on your career courses.
I have also found that the only people who realy worry about these tests are the ones who need to do them. They are the ones in the Naafi every morning at 10.00 eating burgers and pies, winging about everything but themselves. Perhaps the real problem is self inflicted. Also note pie munchers, you will pull more birds and generaly get a better quality of life if you get a grip of your horrible bodies.
While I agree that fitness is important, its not the be all and end all.
I personally know several SNCO's who are absolutely f@!king useless at work, but have been promoted well above their ceiling because they ran a sub 8:30 BFT (as it was in the old days).
Where the bloke who wasn't as fit but was good at the job got left behind, behind of the Jurassic attitude of 'hes fit so he must be a good soldier/tradesman'.
So Disney, you are either a Dinosaur, or somebody who tries to compensate for the fact that what you know about comms can be written on the back of a postage stamp. With a cam-stick.
Go back to your room, probably decked out in mirrors, and read Mens Health, while all the normal blokes go to socialise in the NAAFI.
Nice one wobbly, what about all the PTI's who get promoted to SNCO level without ever doing a full tour in trade? Surely the main emphasis should be on getting skilled tradesmen who can do their jobs? I agree that the BPFA should be achievable, but when was the last time a R Sigs soldier in the mainstream Corps had to run anywhere to do his job? I know a couple of laminated biffchit carriers who are beyond doubt outstanding tradesmen, should we kick em out because they have been debilitated by the system? Get the qualified Gym staff, as in PT Corps, to plan proper progressive training with realistic targets instead of SSM's Inflating the ego's of their AIPT's with outrageous PT programs just to try and prove whose got the biggest swinger.
If more people could pass a BPFA then maybe we would not have stupid PT programs. A few less pie eaters would let the rest of us moderately fit people of the hook. What was you last BPFA run time deep blue? ( and yes, I do know who you are!!)
_____________________________________________________________ And now for something completely different!!!
I'm pretty sure deep_blue would find it hard to run a bath, let alone his BPFA. Are you sure of his identity, i've recently been mistaken for deep_blue, a situation i'm sure you understand, is unacceptable for any hard working operator
This one has really cheered me up. I joined 20 years ago, when fitness was hammered in to you (I'm ex infantry). Going sick was considered almost mutiny!! Certainly anyone long term sick was daily ridiculed and sometimes outcast. (I'm perfectly fit and at 37 still complete a BPFA well within requirements and as for the CFT it's a walk in the park)
Thankfully the army has changed and the PT is a bit more educational and varied (unless in 16 Sigs). In addition, the treatment and recovery of injured personnel is far better (as I've got older, injuries are more frequent).
You will always get the lads/lassies who cannot be arsed with fitness in any aspect, and there are those who cannot do PT through no fault of their own (injury/operations etc).
Those that cannot be arsed, should be gripped and made examples of (remedials is the only way that can be done) and those through no fault of their own should be given the time to recover through proper physio guidlines.
All in all, it should be remembered, fitness should be a personal thing!! Yes the Regt's should take an active interest and organised PT should take place, but ultimately it's down to the individual to ensure they are fit to do their job. As quoted, the BPFA and CFT are the minimum standards expected of every soldier in the army. If you are one of the individuals who cannot be arsed, PVR or Terminate and find another job!!
I totally agree that those individuals unable to pass through no fault of their own i.e. injury, should be given all the help/support possible. Even those permanently downgraded can still have an important job as long as they are good at their trade.
As most will have now seen, you can get waivers for career courses if you are downgraded so that you can still get promoted. This is a seperate contencious issue as you may feel that a person who is classified Home Only and does not go on Ops should not be promoted over a soldier who is FE and sent on all the crappy Ops going.
However, fat lazy slobs who are physically sound but just can't be bothered should be chucked out as soon as possible....or used for mine clearance!
I was a poor miserable combat trade, so pie eating was compulsory! i could still pass the BFT ( how many remember the 2 mile squad bit nad 1 mile in 8.5 minutes !)and CFT if there was a very strong wind behind me and they didn't start too early in the mornings. i didn't know til after i left what split shins were!
I should imagine that even in today's corps just about every trade is taught how to drive, as that is normally how we went into the field, so why all this worry about running and walking with kit etc!
Getting promotion in the Corps consisted of representing ( at least unit level) in some sport/activity, even better if it's the one OC was interested in, guarenteed cpl within your 1st tour!! without being a tech.
But if your not capable of passing your fitness tests, hope you don't expect to bluff it past your 12 year point!
I remember a story told by a Parachute Regiment Platoon Commander at Sandhurst about his time in the Falklands.
He said "En route to the Falklands I mentally sized up my Platoon, four of them had recently done exceptionally well during their P Coy, including one who was top student, they were all lean mean fighting machines ... no problems there I thought, my platoon sgt though ... he's let himself go a bit, some might say a bit of a fat knacker."
He then went on to say..."It was with much surprise that on the way to Goose Green, my Platoon Sgt and I were constantly at the back of the Platoon, not me badgering him to keep up, no not at all, both of us having to badger the lean mean fighting machines that just didn't have the energy to continue on. As for the Platoon Sgt I should really have never doubted him, after all in the aftermath of Goose green he got a Victoria Cross".
Im not the fittest bloke in the world but I do pass all my fitness tests and make sure I am always at a respectible level of fitness. I am however shit hot at my job, which I feel is the main factor. I dont mind working with people who pherhaps cannot run the BPFA in the time allowed, I do mind working with f**kwits who dont know their arse from their elbow when it comes to the job they are employed to do.
On another point, a fellow senior NCO I work with is a very good runner and has done nothing but atheletics for his entire career, unfortunatly the down side of this is that he hasnt got a clue about his job and everybody in his troop has to take on that litlle bit more to help him out. This has not effected him as he still continues to get promoted becouse all his CRs say what a good soldier he is cos he can run round a F**king running track in 7.5 minutes.
1. SNCOs are managers, so they are supposed to manage. It is helpful in the extreme if they also know what you are supposed to be doing and are of that trade. But....helpful only. They don't have to know how you get to the end result, they just have to ensure you do. They do this (hopefully) by ensuring you all do your job, its called managing.
2. Basic fitness tests like BPFA, CFT etc are basic levels of fitness. They are designed so that each soldier is fit enough for the rigours of combat. Nice as the Army is to provide our Corps with transport, but if it got disabled and god forbid disabled in an ambush of some kind. Its kind of helpful that those who get out can walk/run to somewhere safe.
If you are unfit (i.e. can not pass your basic fitness tests/assessment - not super fit P Coy type) drink too much beer, fag it up when you wake up and it starch/lard till the cows come home, not only are you going to kill yourself one day, you could be endangering your friends lives as well.