HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For nearly 40 years, the Army has had the same physical training (PT) test for soldiers. Just three events: sit ups, push ups, and a two-mile run.
However, this test was only for when you were already in the Army. This year at the AUSA Global Force Symposium, the Army is introducing a new PT concept.
"Starting last year, the Army said, 'It would be a really good idea if we had an idea of your physical fitness before you joined the Army,'" said Michael McGurk, Director of Initial Military Training. "So where the old people might have said, 'I'm going to join the Army and get in shape,' now it's much more you have to get in shape if you want to join the Army."
The test is gender neutral and doesn't account for age-- because it's not about who you are, it's about your ability to succeed in the Army.
Equipment similar to what's displayed at this year's symposium can be found at Army recruiting stations. The new assessment test requires you to deadlift, throw weighted balls, long jump, and shuttle run-- just four events. Once you get in the Army, however, it's a different story.
"You'll have six events, and you'll be lifting weights probably from 180 up to 450 pounds," McGurk said.
Ultimately, soldiers are the Army's most important asset.
"It's worth our time and efforts and energies to invest and make them better soldiers, healthier human beings, and have a long and productive life," McGurk said.