On the first day of training, Staff Sgt. Austin Sharp experienced the ups and downs of the demanding new Army Combat Fitness Test.
Under a cloudless morning, Sharp and 11 other Soldiers underwent six tests on a grassy patch behind the basketball courts near the Graves Fitness Center.
The ACFT, which replaces the 40-year-old Army Physical Fitness Test, has six events: the 3-repetition maximum deadlift, the standing power throw, the hand release push-up, the sprint-drag-carry, the leg tuck and the 2-mile run.
After a bit of physical readjustment after the sprint-drag carry, the fourth event in the test, Sharp
Sharp stayed the course and finished each event with pride. He posted good scores and he said he felt great.
“This is going to be a good learning experience,” Sharp added.
For five days, six members of the ACFT Mobile Training Team came from Fort Eustis, Va., to Belvoir to instruct Soldiers who wanted to train others for the ACFT. Active-duty and active Guard and Reserve Soldiers must take the ACFT twice a year; while Reserve and Guard Soldiers test annually.
The more Soldiers the Mobile Training Team can prepare the better, since the AFCT goes into effect Oct. 1. The sessions help Soldiers prepare for real-life situations, including combat responsibilities on the battlefield, like evacuating a casualty, according to said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Brown, the mobile team’s NCOIC.
“What intrigued me about this job is that it is a whole change of culture,” said Brown. “This is a small part of the holistic health and fitness program which incorporates physical fitness. It’s also about mental readiness … This test will allow you to see your strengths and weaknesses, he added.”
The focus on readiness, both mental and physical, and learning to become a trainer was important to Sharp, who is assigned to the Belvoir Soldier Recover Unit.
“I’m looking at always improving my readiness,” Sharp said. “And, I want to help out and improve our readiness in our unit.”
For more information about the ACFT, visit army.mil/acft.