- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) — The U.S. Army is revamping its yearly fitness tests for the first time in 30 years to better toughen soldiers for battle, adding exercises such as running an obstacle course in full combat gear and dragging a body’s weight.

Officials at Fort Jackson, a major Army training base, said Tuesday the new tests would replace one focused on push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. It follows other Army efforts to overhaul training, improve diets and help older soldiers keep fit.

The head of Army initial training, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, told reporters the test had to be revamped because exercises such as sit-ups don’t translate into survival on a battlefield.

The program is being tested at eight installations starting this month and after review could be implemented Army-wide in the next fiscal year.


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