- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2021

The U.S. Army’s new fitness test is proving to be a grind for female soldiers.

Data obtained by Military.com shows 44% of women failing the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) during the first half of the fiscal year.

Roughly 7% of male soldiers have failed the 600-point test (360 required to pass), which includes events such as the deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tucks and the two-mile run.

“The ACFT — as part of the Army’s overall physical readiness program — continues to evolve, reduce injuries and empower Soldiers to perform basic Soldier tasks,” a FORSCOM spokesman told Military.com. “The ACFT is in a transitional period. Data already shows that the ACFT is a better measure of a Soldier’s ability to successfully complete combat-related warrior tasks and battle drills.”

Statistics were gleaned from 106,000 test results since Oct. 1.

A U.S. Army Forces Command briefing seen by the website noted: “Female soldiers continue to lag male soldier scores in all events.”

The results are actually a 12% improvement for females soldiers since last year due to the addition of the “two-minute plank” as an alternative to the leg tuck event.

“Enlisted women continue to struggle the most, with a 53% fail rate,” the website added. “Female officers have only a 23% fail rate, but that’s still significantly higher than the fail rate for men, enlisted or officer. … The pass rate for men went up by 1%.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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