New in 2021: The Army Combat Fitness Test — what you need to know

The new Army Combat Fitness Test officially became the service’s test of record this past October, but lawmakers are poised to hold off any further implementation, pending an independent study to determine how it will impact deployed soldiers, recruiting and retention.

The six-event ACFT has long caused concerns that its stricter requirements could force troops out of the service, take an inordinate amount of time to prepare for and require a burdensome amount of equipment to execute, especially in forward deployed areas.

If the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act passes in its current form, a provision in the law will require an independent study to determine the “extent, if any, to which the test would adversely impact” soldiers “stationed or deployed” to areas that make it difficult to conduct “outdoor physical training on a frequent or sustained basis,” the defense bill reads.

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Author: Dian Welle