Nice to see your review. I haven't had the opportunity to take it. I have mixed opinons on the ACFT. Practice is key for a lot of these events-especially the medicine ball throw.. You are significantly disadvantaged on the Med ball throw and sled pull (i.e. short, lighter weight). But then again your shorter arms help you out on PU and Leg tucks...
I am somewhat looking forward to taking it in the fall.
I am also interested to see the actual final standards (since they are still subject to change as they did a few months ago.)
I honestly like it a lot more than the APFT. This is the first time I haven't maxed a PT test, so I feel a lot more motivated to train my weaknesses now. Plus once the test got started it actually was pretty efficiently run (obviously DPE is different than a big Army unit, so I'll see how it goes at BOLC and Carson soon).
Standards are something I'm sorta concerned about, especially regarding women in branches requiring the black standard. While I'd like to believe that everyone can hit or exceed the standard if they train hard enough, I'm concerned that events like the MDL, SPT, and SDC might prevent or even deter otherwise competent females from electing to go into those branches. Guess we'll have to see what the next couple of months brings.
Good points. I am more motivated to do PT intrinsically (and personal desire to be fit enough to lead my Soldiers) rather than some external force (APFT/ACFT) but I recognize that is not the case for many people. If the goal is to motivate people to train for a test it may be good. I personally view the APFT as a tool that allows commanders to motivate under-performers (and potentially separate) rather than top performers. That being said - the APFT is a base, minimum level of fitness, rather than a measure of true fitness. I prefer using (in my opinion better) measure of unit fitness by using a team/squad/platoon physical and military competitions. This gives a much better idea of what the unit can do - as the Army is a team fight.
I don't think the issue is with a full unit - it is similar support although a much longer setup/tear down time to an APFT. The problem is not the group, it's the individuals. The amount of setup/tear down and support needed to do an ACFT for a few stragglers (think school or just reported) is the larger problem. That is a significant amount of time.
Regarding scoring - I am partial for a Go/No Go standard, the same standard across the entire army - simpler, quicker, no questions. Well, I am MI/Signal/AG/Supply but... I am assigned to an infantry unit, must I meet the heavy fitness standard? (From my current understanding it is yes but I am not certain) I also share your fear of accidental deterrence of potentially great Soldiers serving in certain jobs (or even joining the Army in the first place) because of the ACFT.
I think it will be much longer than a few months to see the long term impacts. It'll definitely be interesting to see what occurs in final approval though.
The Canadian general in our corps command group (Deputy for Support) had an interesting perspective similar to what you mention, Jordan. He felt the US overemphasized individual capabilities and underemphasized team capabilities. People were not expected to be interchangeable, but complementary. He didn't agree with some of the US generals who were against integrating the combat arms for that reason, and acknowledged his viewpoint came from years of experience with women in tanks and APCs. Individual strength is good (and will buy a lot of credibility), but in the long, run, it isn't everything.
I thought that was an interesting perspective. I've always believed everyone should be able to pull their own weight. But I also wonder how many high-quality men will struggle to meet that same standard. Has it been set artificially high, like the artillery standards were when they first sat down to write them, and wrote standards current artillerymen couldn't meet?
Thanks for providing a window into that experience. I suspect I would have found it intimidating.