FILE – In this January 8, 2019 file photo, U.S. Army instructors trained as instructors are taking part in the Army’s new fitness test at the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade grounds at Fort Bragg Soldiers make as part of the new fitness tests after finding out that many troops – especially women – were unable to perform the exercise that involves lifting their knees while hanging from a bar.
FILE – In this January 8, 2019 file photo, U.S. Army Instructor Training Forces are taking part in the Army’s new fitness test on the grounds of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Fort Bragg of the new fitness test at least one leg curl after finding that many troops – especially women – were unable to perform the exercise that involves lifting their knees while hanging from a bar.
By LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Army throws out the hamstring requirements.
On Monday, the demand that soldiers have to poke at least one leg – where they hang from a pole and pull their knees near their shoulders – as part of the new fitness test ended as it became clear that many troops, especially women, weren’t able to do it. Now soldiers have the option to choose another exercise called a plank, which also shows nuclear power.
This new option is just one of the changes that army leaders are making in their struggle for a gender and age neutral fitness test, but which does not discriminate against female or older soldiers who are simply not as strong as their younger male counterparts.
In a broad nod to gender differences, army leaders said Monday they will also create a new tiered system that will mask some of the differences in fitness ratings between men and women in promotions or other career choices.
According to this system, all soldiers complete the fitness test, which comprises six different exercise events. The minimum score for passing is 60 points for each event, a total of 360, and the maximum number of points is 100 points for each event, a total of 600 points.
Soldiers are ranked based on how they behaved compared to others of the same sex. For example, if they are in the top 1% of their gender they are in the platinum category, or if they are in the top 10% of their gender they are in the gold group. This ranking would then be displayed in internal reports for promotions or other competitive tasks where increased physical fitness could be a determining factor.