WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army has scrapped its move to have a physical fitness test that's gender- and age-neutral, and will now allow women and older soldiers to pass while meeting some reduced standards.
"Among the key changes announced by the Army are new age-and-gender-performance normed scoring scales; the replacement of the leg tuck with the plank for the core-strength assessment; and the addition of the 2.5-mile walk as an alternate aerobic event," the Army said in a statement.
The decision comes after three years of complaints and debate about the fitness test.
A new study by the RAND research organization confirms that men were passing the new six-event fitness test at a much higher rate than women and that older soldiers were also struggling with their scores.
The change will only affect the regular fitness test that soldiers take each year.
“The ACFT is an essential part of maintaining the readiness of the Army as we transform into the Army of 2030,” said Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth.
Qualifying for specific, more grueling Army jobs will continue to require that everyone must pass the same tests and standards.