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US Army Could Reverse Gender Neutral Fitness Test As Research Finds Women Struggle

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US Army Could Reverse Gender Neutral Fitness Test As Research Finds Women Struggle

The US military is considering halting fitness tests for members that is the same for men and women.

The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) requires soldiers to complete a maximum deadlift, a standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, a sprint, drag and carry, leg tuck, and a two-mile run.

Members have to score at least 360 points out of a possible 600 in order to pass. The higher the score, the higher the chance to be promoted.

Active Army and Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Soldiers have to take two ACFTs every year, while Guard Soldiers are required to only take one.

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Soldiers won't face any 'adverse administrative actions' if they fail the test and the score isn't used 'administratively'.

Credit: US Army
Credit: US Army

However, a Pentagon study has found up to 65 per cent of women were failing the ACFT, compared to just 10 per cent for men, according to the Telegraph.

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The average score difference between men and women has been up to 100 points.

An army officer told Military.com: "We have to figure out a way to make it fair to both genders."

The military first addressed problems with the differences in both genders back in 2019, highlighting that it was monitoring how men and women were performing.

Maj. Gen. Lonnie Hibbard said at a press conference: "If you look at some of the blogs, it talked about the failure rates, and we are seeing a difference in failure rates. We have to learn how to train for this test."

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Credit: US Army
Credit: US Army

The army has ordered an independent review into whether the test is unfair and a report has claimed the gender neutral test could be evaluated in a different way in order to make it better balanced.

Congress has ruled the test shouldn't be used as a factor for promotion and ideas on changing how core body strength is assessed are being tossed around.

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A new look test was brought in October last year to help address the gap in men versus women's scores.

Instead of the leg tuck from the bar, soldiers can do a two-minute plank instead, with research showing female soldiers performing better in that area.

UPI reports the unfairness in the tests for men and women gave unrealistic requirements for service members in non-combat roles like medicine and cybersecurity.

Lt. Col. Margaret Kageleiry of the Training and Doctrine Command told the Army Times that the Army 'is looking at means to apply those scores based on gender to account for biological differences'.

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"We are addressing these concerns in coordination with Army senior leaders, Congress and with those it impacts the most, our American soldiers," Kageleiry said.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: army, News

Stewart Perrie
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