The PFA is dead. Long live the PFA!

#41
Sounds unlikely. The current dummies are in the region of 60-80kg. I think someone has misread the lbs as kgs. That's not to say it's unrealistic (80-90kg bloke + 30kg of kit), but still.

Anyway, if that were to be the test, then everyone in non-combat arms would be failing it and probably more importantly, it would incur huge numbers of injuries from incorrect lifting. Doesn't sound like a ideal general fitness test.
We do the casualty drag now as part of the OFTs its not very far and it hurts like a bastard at the top of the legs but most people (including the females) manage it,
 

Sarastro

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#42
We do the casualty drag now as part of the OFTs its not very far and it hurts like a bastard at the top of the legs but most people (including the females) manage it,
Drag very different to fireman's lift and carry CASEVAC though. Also with the lighter dummies.

A drag of a 60-80kg dummy I can definitely see. Getting every non-combat arms soldier, male and female, up to age 50, who hasn't done the technique to lift someone from the ground since basic, to lift a 120kg dummy is such an obviously bad idea and an open invitation to thousands of preventable back injuries that even the Army can't have come up with...

...oh bollocks.

It's gen.
 
#43
Drag very different to fireman's lift and carry CASEVAC though. Also with the lighter dummies.

A drag of a 60-80kg dummy I can definitely see. Getting every non-combat arms soldier, male and female, up to age 50, who hasn't done the technique to lift someone from the ground since basic, to lift a 120kg dummy is such an obviously bad idea and an open invitation to thousands of preventable back injuries that even the Army can't have come up with...

...oh bollocks.

It's gen.
I remember having to do it as part of the CFT as well as the wall climb (getting on the back of a lorry) and a jump of a certain distance, for some reason (probably because the females couldnt manage the wall) it was stopped.
 

Sarastro

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#44
I remember having to do it as part of the CFT as well as the wall climb (getting on the back of a lorry) and a jump of a certain distance, for some reason (probably because the females couldnt manage the wall) it was stopped.
Yep, similar with various types of AFT test...although, when I think hard about it, I only remember doing those more advanced tests when there were actual PT Corps PTIs around (e.g. more trained and had access to the kit).

I think the Modern War article gets it spot on in the first paragraph. Sure, the PFT could be improved and is not a perfect test of fitness. I particularly used to hate it because I suck at running fast. But for what it was (or with some very simple additions / changes to various bodyweight exercises), it is a tolerably good way of grading relative VO2 fitness of individuals, for almost zero cost. Easy alternate flavours could be a bleep test or a bodyweight circuits set rather than max reps on two exercises. Anyone can do it; it requires no kit; everyone can all do it on the same day. The time and cost saved from that on an organisational level is immense compared to more complicated tests. There is a difference here between fitness development, which should be mixed up and often complex, and a baseline fitness test, which should aim to be as simple and generic as possible. Athletes have complex training regimes, but ultimately their events come down to: lift as much of this as possible; run/cycle/swim as fast as possible over this distance. That doesn't represent actual soldiering, but it does give you an idea of how fast/strong/agile etc individuals are relative to each other.

Moving to something which requires lots of kit, which means more money, and means more time spent on fitness tests in already overheated mandatory training schedules, should require an equally large improvement in what the test delivers. I'm not convinced that the stuff @Commentator cited is that much better than a short run and some bodyweight circuits that it's worth the effort.

But this is the Army, and it looks shiny and has the word 'innovation' if not right in the middle of it, at least sitting somewhere nearby, so clearly it will happen regardless of whether it's actually worth doing.
 
#45
But this is the Army, and it looks shiny and has the word 'innovation' if not right in the middle of it, at least sitting somewhere nearby, so clearly it will happen regardless of whether it's actually worth doing.
I'd suggest so long as more people pass what ever the new tests are, it will be deemed as successful.
 
#46
I'd suggest so long as more people pass what ever the new tests are, it will be deemed as successful.
Stop being so negative, and get with the times you dinosaur.
Why not just do away with the sexist 'pass or fail compulsory tests'. Let's just have a range of tests based on 'turning up'.
 
#47
Stop being so negative, and get with the times you dinosaur.
Why not just do away with the sexist 'pass or fail compulsory tests'. Let's just have a range of tests based on 'turning up'.
I believe the TA already have that range of tests.
 
#50
And now the Regs too. It would seem.
We have to turn up every work day, the TA just do it for a fortnight and 6 weekends.
 
#51
We have to turn up every work day, the TA just do it for a fortnight and 6 weekends.
Er... That's because it's a regular soldier's full time job. As opposed to a part timer's hobby.
You've served in the Regs for over 20 years now Stacker, if it was down to you mate, what sort of fitness testing would you recommend?
 
#52
Er... That's because it's a regular soldier's full time job. As opposed to a part timer's hobby.
You've served in the Regs for over 20 years now Stacker, if it was down to you mate, what sort of fitness testing would you recommend?
The same as I recommended at the end of every course I've ever attended. More 6AM log runs.
 
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#53
The same as I recommended at the end of every course I've every attended. More 6AM log runs.
Now some might say that you've said that just to be a 'dick' or to be 'controversal' but you do raise a very valid point. Green PT, when properly conducted, should be as much of a mental challenge as it should be a physical one. It is a good indicator to PT staff about these troops who have the mental fortitude for hard, physical work, who will always push themselves further towards their personal physical fitness goals.
 
#54
Now some might say that you've said that just to be a 'dick' or to be 'controversal' but you do raise a very valid point. Green PT, when properly conducted, should be as much of a mental challenge as it should be a physical one. It is a good indicator to PT staff about these troops who have the mental fortitude for hard, physical work, who will always push themselves further towards their personal physical fitness goals.
In seriousness if I were to make proper suggestions regarding fitness i would suggest proper build up in the first 6 months of arriving in a unit (separate PT). In the RLC there appears no structure whatsoever, PT lessons appears random, soldiers straight from phase two are expected to keep pace with regular soldiers who may have been conducting some intensive training over a few months.
I would also suggest more ability groups ranging from the 40 year old females doing 14.29 mile and a half to the 18 year old 7 minute PFT runners with the emphasis on pushing the majority of people through the groups over time headed up by Troop commanders and the SSMs as they should know their troops better than the PTIs.
 

Caecilius

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#55
But this is the Army, and it looks shiny and has the word 'innovation' if not right in the middle of it, at least sitting somewhere nearby, so clearly it will happen regardless of whether it's actually worth doing.
If only. For the army, innovation just means AI and robots.
 
#56
But this is the Army, and it looks shiny and has the word 'innovation' if not right in the middle of it, at least sitting somewhere nearby, so clearly it will happen regardless of whether it's actually worth doing.
If only. For the army, innovation just means AI and robots.
I'd correct you there.

Innovation for the Army means tentatively leaving the 19th Century and dipping a toe in the 20th Century....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#57
Innovation for the Army means tentatively leaving the 19th Century and dipping a toe in the 20th Century....
Now, that's just cruel and unfair. The Army has fully embraced Mr. Marconi's new Wireless Telegraphy, and abandoned both Morse and Semaphore signalling. Granted, its closest Field Artillery unit available to cover Horsell Common from Martian invasion is still horsedrawn.

Meanwhile, the Royal Navy has recently signed up to a new class of Dreadnought which will use steam turbines, hasn't yet given up on signal flags, keeps a first-rate ship of the line and an ironclad parked up next to the new carrier, and still uses a bloke with a whistle when the rest of the world has cottoned on to the concept of a "doorbell".

:cool:
 
#58
So some more details have come out that were presented to ECAB, and might soften @stacker1 's very valid cynicism about it being a way to make things easier for the women in ground close combat project.

New tests with Entry requirement (E) and Standard requirement (S):

Heave: 2 (E), 4 (S)
Lift (20-60kg up to 1.5m height) : 15 (E) 35 (S)
Throw (seated 4kg medicine ball throw) : 1 (E), 5 (S)
Deadlift: 50 (E) 70 (S)
Aerobic, 2km Run: 13 mins (E) 11 minutes (S)

Combined with Body Mass Measurements

It will also bring in Standards including:
- Single lift to 1.5m 20-60kg
- Jerry can carry 30m shuttles
- Repeated lift and carry, 20x20kg sandbags 30m carry
- 4km TAB, 50 minutes, 40kg weight (with a 25kg weight as well, 4km, time to be confirmed)
- Fire and movement, 7.5m bounds over 150m. 5x30 shuttles. 15m crawl and 15m sprint.
- casualty extraction using 40-110kg pull using a rope
- casualty drag 111kg over 20m
- tactical movement in urban terrain, zig-zag sprints, window entry, 10m crawl, 15m sprint

So it seems pretty comprehensive, unsure how it's going to work in practice.
 

Sarastro

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#60
Well, not sure how some of this is going to prove @stacker1 's cynicism wrong:

Aerobic, 2km Run: 13 mins (E) 11 minutes (S)

That's 80% the speed of the old standard, and a shorter distance too. Which is quite a large reduction. Additionally the fact that some of the entry standards are basically "can you stand up without dying", is unlikely to convince anyone who believes that standards are dropping. If the ATCs start turning out 100% pass rates at the (S) numbers there, rather than a mishmash of 'trained' soldiers somewhere above the (E) numbers, fine. But since the trend seems to have been to pass the problem onto Phase 2 establishments or units to get them up to speed, you could see why not everyone is convinced.

Otherwise:

4km TAB, 50 minutes, 40kg weight (with a 25kg weight as well, 4km, time to be confirmed)

If they bin the ridiculous 15kg fancy walks for Corps, and have everyone do a standardised, heavier but shorter and slower tab, that will be a good move and reflective of reality.

Heave: 2 (E), 4 (S)
Lift (20-60kg up to 1.5m height) : 15 (E) 35 (S)
Throw (seated 4kg medicine ball throw) : 1 (E), 5 (S)
Deadlift: 50 (E) 70 (S)


So they want fewer racing snakes and more soldiers with functional upper body strength and core strength. Entirely sensible, hope it works out.

One thing - this is definitely not a program designed to be easier for the average woman. The switch towards strength and heavier weights will favour men, and the slower run times are bringing men down a lot and women down a fraction to a common standard. This is going to require Army women to do a lot more weight and strength training while running the same speed, and men to just...well, do what they did before really, but a bit slower. So the women-in-ground-combat argument seems a bit of a bust.
 
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