Military readies new gender-inclusive Fight Health Check

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Sgt. Danny Gonzalez of the New Jersey Army National Guard is taking part in the Army Combat Fitness Test, which starts in April and offers different rating levels for male and female soldiers. Photo by Mark Olsen / National Guard

March 27 (UPI) – This week, the latest version of the Army Combat Fitness Test was launched with separate ratings for male and female soldiers and the third in three years.

The test includes gender-based performance assessment levels and the inclusion of the “plank,” a static exercise that uses a soldier’s arms to lift him off the ground and keep his body straight.

It is an alternative to “The Leg-Tuck”, in which a soldier is hanging from a pull-up bar and his knees are up to his chin. This exercise is the greatest challenge for female soldiers.

Both of the available exercises are a measure of core strength, and older male soldiers benefit from the choice as well.

“It allows us to include those on duty who have been on duty for 15, 20, 30 years and have never been asked to build the upper body strength necessary to do something like a chin-up or a hamstring.” Maj. Gen. Lonnie Hibbard, chief of the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, told Stars and Stripes.

“It’s very hard [build strength] at this age, i.e. through an alternative event [the plank] We can still assess core strength, ”said Hibbard.

The six-event ACFT is conducted annually with scores and assessments being part of a soldier’s permanent military record.

The 3.0 version of the test will begin in April with results not counting until April 2022, Army Sgt.Maj. Michael Grinston told the Army Times.

The relatively low scores for female soldiers, if not adjusted for physiological gender differences, worried lawmakers that promotions and promotions for service women would be slowed.

In terms of scoring, the six events each offer 100 points, with 360 being the minimum number required to pass the test.

The new rating system is also expected to feature five performance categories: green, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, based on the ACFT performance of male and female soldiers.

The platinum cohort could represent the top 1 percent of all points, while the green band could represent the lowest 50 percent of the total force.

“The averages for male and female soldiers can vary, but the minimum standard remains gender-neutral,” said an army statement earlier this week.