How Do You Measure Up? Here’s How Soldiers Are Scoring on the Army Combat Fitness Test.

Most soldiers in the Army are passing the service’s physical fitness test — 98% of active-duty men and 95% of active-duty women — after troops have been taking it for about five years, according to internal data reviewed by that includes scores since October 2022.However, those active-duty men were significantly more likely than their female counterparts to earn a high score that exempts them from body fat testing — 29% to 18%, respectively. Still, the data for active-duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers shows what the Army was aiming for: a test with a generous baseline to measure general fitness, and difficult-to-reach standards for the highest scores. Those high scores can be key for promotion.The Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, became official in 2022, but soldiers have been taking it since a beta period began in 2019 when service planners were working on finalizing events and standards — standards that may still see adjustments in coming years. For junior enlisted troops and recently commissioned officers, the ACFT is the only test they know and has become the status quo.Read Next: Watch ‘Band of Brothers’ Cast Members Jump into Normandy for D-Day’s 80th AnniversaryOnly 2% of active-duty men didn’t pass the test, and more than one-quarter scored at or above 540. Soldiers who score 540 and above are exempt from the service’s body fat assessments. A score that high effectively guarantees the soldier is in excellent physical condition, having to deadlift heavy weight and run a relatively quick two miles.The vast majority of active-duty women also passed the test, though fewer scored at least 540 — a pattern that was similar in the National Guard and reserve, the data shows.For male soldiers in the National Guard, 96% passed the ACFT and 11% scored 540 or above, while 90% of female Guard soldiers passed and 7% achieved that high score. For the Army Reserve, 95% of male soldiers passed and 10% scored at least 540, while 90% of their female counterparts passed and 6% scored 540 or above.Average scores for specific events are included below.Women do have significantly different benchmarks than men, a point of contention during the test’s development. The ACFT was originally intended to have gender-neutral standards. But while the data suggests the test has a gender bias, it also shows that more familiarity and training for the test make up for some of that bias.Active-duty women score higher than their male counterparts in the National Guard and reserve, and are far more likely to score above 540, according to the data.Those part-time soldiers are less likely to have workout routines that focus specifically on the ACFT because civilian gyms aren’t normally equipped to practice the events. However, the event all soldiers struggled with most was the two-mile run, which can be practiced anywhere.Meanwhile, the test has faced concerns over what the minimum standards should be, both from Army officials behind the scenes and, most notably, on Capitol Hill.There is broad agreement that the minimum may be too generous, that any soldier with the most humble workout routine will easily pass, and that ACFT baseline standards don’t encourage much physical effort. But it’s a difficult needle to thread, some service officials have noted, pointing to the need for an athletic force in which anyone is ready to fight on the front line. The reality is that combat roles make up a minority of the force, and that the service needs to recruit talents in fields such as cyber, which places less of an emphasis on athleticism.Rand Corp. is currently studying the Army’s standards for combat-arms troops. That study is set to wrap up next year. It’s unclear how the service will adjust scoring standards for those roles, but some officials have mulled behind the scenes adjustments, such as moving the benchmark for passing from 60 points to 65 or 70. The move to boost fitness standards for combat arms was directed by Congress.Another study on the standards as a whole is being conducted at the University of Iowa, where much of the early research was done on the test. That review is set to conclude in 2026.While the specifics on the standards will likely be tweaked, the test has universal support from top officials and agreement from the rank and file that it is a much better measurement of fitness than the previous test, which only measured sit-ups, push-ups and a two-mile run.”I am a believer in the ACFT. I think it’s a better test,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told in an interview in October. “My goal is we need to increase our culture of fitness. I think the ACFT does that.”Percent of soldiers who score 540 and above:Active-duty men: 29%Active-duty women: 18%National Guard men: 11%National Guard women: 7%Reserve men: 10%Reserve women: 6%Overall pass rate: Active-duty men: 98%Active-duty women: 95%National Guard men: 96%National Guard women: 90%Reserve men: 95%Reserve women: 90%Below are the average ACFT scores for men and women in each Army test component. The minimum to pass each event is 60 points, with a maximum of 100. For the overall test, 360 points is the minimum to pass, with a maximum score of 600.Active-duty men average scores: Deadlift: 86Standing power throw: 81Hand release push-up: 85Sprint drag carry: 85Plank: 82Two-mile run: 78Overall score: 498Active-duty women average scores:Deadlift: 83Standing power throw: 78Hand release push-up: 83Sprint drag carry: 82Plank: 76Two-mile run: 70Overall score: 477National Guard men average scores: Deadlift: 78Standing power throw: 78Hand release push-up: 77Sprint drag carry: 79Plank: 73Two-mile run: 71Overall score: 458National Guard women average scores: Deadlift: 74Standing power throw: 76Hand release push-up: 75Sprint drag carry: 77Plank: 69Two-mile run: 65Overall score: 439Reserve men average scores: Deadlift: 74Standing power throw: 77Hand release push-up: 76Sprint drag carry: 77Plank: 73Two-mile run: 68Overall score: 452Reserve women average scores: Deadlift: 73Standing power throw: 75Hand release push-up: 76Sprint drag carry: 75Plank: 69Two-mile run: 61Overall score: 434Related: Congress Tells Army to Set Higher Fitness Standards for Combat Arms Soldiers

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