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The next step in the Army’s transition from the Army Physical Fitness Test to the Army Combat Fitness Test was announced. Beginning Oct. 1, all Soldiers entering initial military training – Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and One Station Unit Training – among others, will be administered the ACFT. These Soldiers will undergo training and practical testing for the ACFT to build their individual readiness as they prepare to join cohesive teams at their units who have already built upon their readiness.

We are on a glide path to total Army implementation no later than Oct. 1, 2020, but will maintain the APFT as the test of record until then. This year-long period will allow us to continue assessing and validating the test, disseminating equipment, assessing Army policy and making adjustments as necessary. It is important to add value to this period by providing your feedback to Army senior leaders, whether through the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training’s Army Physical Training and Readiness Survey or direct leadership feedback.

As you prepare to meet the standards for the ACFT, remember you can train for it anywhere, in any environment, with or without equipment. Simply refer to USACIMT’s ACFT training guide, or the training videos and online resources at https://www.army.mil/acft/. Use this practice phase to prepare for meeting the standards related to your MOS.

For alternate assessments, a modification of the ACFT has been approved, which includes three aerobic test events for selected Soldiers with permanent profiles that prevent full participation in the six-event test. This will not apply to Soldiers with temporary profiles; those individuals should recondition themselves, retrain and take the full six-event ACFT.

It is imperative we transform our fitness culture to better avoid and recover from preventable injuries, and build cohesive teams. Leaders – take action. A key part of “This is My Squad” is ensuring every member of the team is aligned with the chief of staff’s readiness priorities – highly trained, disciplined and physically fit Soldiers capable of winning on any battlefield at any time. The ACFT will improve our individual readiness, deployability and lethality.

People First! Army Strong!

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston