Is there too much emphasis on BPFA?

#1
Do we put too much emphasis on BPFA rather than training for military robustness?

The reason I ask is that those who pass BPFA seem to fall to bits on the hills. Yeah, so you can do some sit ups and press ups but how does that help when you have to cover 10Kms to an objective and put in a section attack.

Several people I have come in contact with seem able to green BPFA but are useless in a soldiering scenario. What is the answer and how do we resolve this lack of fortitude?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#2
Couldn't agree more. However, look at the amount of whingeing going on about increasing the BCFT from 4 miles to 8 miles over the next two years. Unfortunately, not everyone in the TA thinks that fitness for role, or lack of it, is a real credibility issue.

Duke
 
#3
I was a bit worried when I took my Sqn out for the 1.5 mile run after the press ups and sit ups and was second back in 10.04. (I am 35, ex-rugby player weighing 15 stone) Some of the young guys were knacked and several just jogged not giving a shit. It needs sorting.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#4
I am really not worried about scores on BPFAs - just a green will do, unless you are a recruit in which case prove yourself. As a unit, we have never done the 4 mile CFT as a point of principle, and always conducted the normal 8 miler. The 8 miler is not even a difficult test, anyway!

If people want to bang on about "One army" they should aim for the same standards where training time and resources permit. It is no good claiming "we are the same, just part time" if you then seek lower standards in the thing which is easiest to work on without a huge training bill. People should train in their own time - simple as that.
 
#5
Indeed, indeed, indeed. Individuals need to pick it up and be good in every situation that they may encounter. Whether that may be running like hell or getting up them hills with a sack of spuds on them. I get really fed up of training to get good results and people who are not bothered simply being allowed to get away with poor results.
 
#6
I thought the BPFA was an assessment, and thus you should be able to show an improvement or at least a plateau between BPFAs?

If people aren't showing said improvement, then their CoC should be motivating them so to do, organising remedial PT or somesuch.

Currently, the CFT is the bounty requirement (and this the only test most of us really need to pass :) ).

When the ITD is replaced by MATT, dependent on your state of readiness, you'll be getting a bit more strenuous excercisefor most of the TA. Low readiness units will have to do less, high readiness units need to do more.

Think about what the TA is supposed to be really for. A goodly sized chunk of it is supposed to be doing Field Hospitals and stuff (not to say some RAMC/ QUARNC weren't very fit, Mrs FB is ;-) ).

Specialist skills, often not related to running 8 miles with a bergan but more based on a skill set the Army doesn't want to have to pay for on a full-time basis.

edited now I found the info is still not in the public domain ....
 
#7
NAP6W said:
Do we put too much emphasis on BPFA rather than training for military robustness?

The reason I ask is that those who pass BPFA seem to fall to bits on the hills. Yeah, so you can do some sit ups and press ups but how does that help when you have to cover 10Kms to an objective and put in a section attack.

Several people I have come in contact with seem able to green BPFA but are useless in a soldiering scenario. What is the answer and how do we resolve this lack of fortitude?
Does it have to be an either/or scenario?

Both the CFT and the BPFA have their merits. Neither should be used in isolation to gauge someones fitness. The BPFA is a good indicator of someone's overall cardio fitness (which is more useful when crawling over gorse bushes practising Platoon Attacks). You could argue that the CFT is useless, as when was the last time the British Army tabbed to war (and certainly the example you highlight is rarely the norm, although perhaps it is in the TA where we have no Warriors/Helicopters!)? In todays environment being able to sprint the length of a street carrying your rifle and webbing (i.e. short exertions) is more important than dragging your Bergen 8 miles.

In reality and as I've already said, both are a good test, as to be the all-round, robust soldier you must be able to do the sprinting and the walking.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#8
FB,

Point taken about specialists, but an acceptable basic level of fitness (which is all we are talking about here, not P Coy or SF selection) is an essential part of the robustness/adaptabilty and utility of everyone in the armed forces.

Fat lumps often struggle to acclimatise in the time frame allowed, several of the BG that took over from ours on TELIC were totally U/S due to obesity and inability to acclimatise.

BTW if you run on an 8 miler, you will come in too quickly for the set times. A brisk walk is all that is required!
 
#9
When are the CFT changes being implemented? I heard this weekend that its a phased increase to 6 miles, then 7 then the full 8? This true?
Also, as far as I know right now the only assessed BPFA is on TAF's, recruits day 1, and MPC and MPC(A). Are their plans to include BPFA as part of ITD's? I wonder what gets sacrified to get the time for this too? Right now a full ITD test is never carried out by any unit in just the one weekend, and it still turns into a tick in the box weekend as long as the CFT is done, and a couple of rounds are put down the range vaguely at a target. So this would then mean ITD's are over 2 weekends, which then interferes with the min commitment of 19 days for Specialists.
When I was Independant, the old BFA 3 miler was pretty much fortnightly as time is on their side with weekly parade nights. Plus PT kit was required every drill night incase an instructor was a no show. My fitness was far higher then than it is now as a Specialist...
 
#10
No, its not. As everyone recognises the CFT (possibly even the 8 miler) is no real test apart from the genuinely sick, lame or incredibly lazy. As there is the 'sliding' scale for oldies we can't even argue against it in the 'what about the guys we rely on to run stuff (aged) who will no longer get their bounties'. Equally however, I believe that an Amber should be acceptable in our 'conversion' year, in the same way we are officially moving up to the 6 miler first. If we are to prove the validity of 'one Army' then basic tests must be the same, and the very existenc eof threads like this will justify TA baiting to some regs.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#11
Barbs,

This thread started as a comment about the lack of fitness of some individuals, and a drive to improve. Hardly likely to cause baiting if we are wishing to be tested to the same standards. Granted Smudges post is slightly more negative!

dUKE
 
#12
Next Training year is the 6 miler with the 8 miler for the training year after that.

Also good news for the fatties, the BPFA isn't being 'enforced' till the same year as the 8 mile CFT. For the coming training year, you'll be given some grace to get yourselves up to standard (not like the standards are that high FFS).
 
#13
Wasnt trying to be negative! Just indicating the differences in training time available to the Independant and Specialists. Both have their valued place in todays TA of course. Fully agree with the fitness testing being standardised.
Those 8 days between between Spec and Ind is quite large and then you include those weekly parade nights which specs dont have. OK Spec always do alot more than 19 days, but then there is a blur in what is "bounty qualifying weekends". Typically only ITD's and your unit Tech weekends plus your ex/camp/course only count. And thats your 19 days done, 1 tech, 1 ITD, 1 ex... I guess thats a whole different argument though from this thread, so i'll shut up.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#14
Wasn't having a pop, Smudge...I think we are all in agreement on here. Just waiting for the first fatty to stick their bloated,swaeting head over the parapet!
 
#16
A BPFA shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, even with a fair bit of hurry-up-and-wait, and can be run en masse.

Note that the new MATTS system (tried to find the thread and couldn't) is in three tiers to take into account the various states of readiness..

I'll post some info when I find the handout I have.
 
#17
I always emphaised that B stands for Basic from day one, but some people still don't seem to understand it. Sometimes the best way to show people they need to improve is by doing a 10km advance to a contact and put in a section attack shock them into realising how unfit they are it can sometimes be what sparks of their drive to get fit.
 
#18
minime33 said:
I always emphaised that B stands for Basic from day one, but some people still don't seem to understand it. Sometimes the best way to show people they need to improve is by doing a 10km advance to a contact and put in a section attack shock them into realising how unfit they are it can sometimes be what sparks of their drive to get fit.
Or what kills them :D
 
#19
And what of all those that fail the new joint standards? Retest and then bin them as unfit for role? Then you have a whole squadron not fulfilling its ORBAT, and once again leading to undermanned units hehe.
Well I guess binning them gives us junior ranks a chance of promotion instead of dead mens shoes, considing many of the 'fatties' seem to appear in the senior ranks :p
Again not trying to sound negative, just devils advocate.
Very keen to see the new MATT's info from Fluffy though.
 
#20
It has always annoyed me a bit how some people in the TA get away with so much for so long. But i have to agree with some points made. I have always been better at the CFT than the BFT (soz, BPFA, showing my age lol). I have no problem with the sit-ups and press-ups but I don't fair so well in the running. But, whoever went to war just wearing their PT kit anyway. A CFT is more similar to a 10k advance to contact than a BPFA

I have always strived to improve my fitness. Being of the vertically challenged nature , my stride length has sometimes made it difficult to keep up with the taller folk on CFTs, but I do something about it. I improve my fitness in my own time and for CFTs I make sure i am at the front, next to the PTI so i'm doing the exact same thing he is. Alot of others don't bother and still get a tick in the box.

A while ago i fractured the 3 vertebrae in my lower back, but i was determined not to nurse my injury and get back to fitness. I took it slowly but surely, getting help and advice from my PSI. At the start i could only walk around 1 mile of the course, but after a few weeks i was able to run the full length 3 nights a week. By doing this and making the effort myself , i had successfully passed my CFT within 5 months of having my accident.

Another member of my sqaudron had an accident about 3 years ago and pulled a muscle in their back. The only thing they have done about it is sue the army for their injury and not made any attempt to get back to fitness. They are still down-graded 3 years later, but still manage to get a tick in the box somehow. i am unaware if they get thier bounty , but i'm almost sure they do.

At the moment, after a long spell in hospital, i am having to regain my fitness again. I, unlike alot of people, am willing to work to achieve my fitness again and that is exactly what i am doing.
 
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