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    Fort Meade prepares for new Army Combat Fitness Test

    Fort Meade prepares for new Army Combat Fitness Test

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Osvaldo Equite | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Curtisha Lewis, an advanced individual training drill sergeant at...... read more read more

    FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md., (May 17, 2019) – Sweaty faces, grimaced looks, and smiles abounded as 114 noncommissioned officers completed Army Combat Fitness Test Level II Grader validation training from May 13-17, 2019, at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

    A mobile training team from Fort Gordon, Georgia’s Cyber Center of Excellence NCO Academy provided the training by teaching, coaching, and administering the ACFT as Fort Meade prepares to implement the test per Army directives. For that reason, the CCoE NCOA Detachment at Fort Meade coordinated and hosted the MTT to train and certify NCOs from 10 different units across the installation.

    “I feel implementing a new test was something overdue,” said Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Peoples, a Miami, Florida native and an ACFT Level III Grader-Instructor with the training team. “This test will force individuals to take a holistic approach in training, but it’s also realistic – it carries over to what we do in a combat zone.”

    Starting in October, the Army will begin the initial implementation phase by requiring units to take two not-for-record ACFTs approximately six months apart, with the goals of improving Soldier and unit readiness, transforming the Army’s fitness culture, reducing preventable injuries and attrition, and enhancing mental toughness and stamina.

    To meet these goals, units need to be self-sustaining, that’s why it’s important for units to have certified and validated graders, said Peoples, a signal support systems specialist and senior small group leader.

    An ACFT Level II Grader has the knowledge, skills, and attributes to: serve as a testing officer or NCO in charge to administer a unit ACFT, validate testing locations, validate testing equipment, grade all events to standard, administer a 90-day record test, and train ACFT Level I Graders by providing three-hour validation training.

    Having level II graders provides clarity in conducting the test accurately and to standard, said Staff Sgt. Curtisha Lewis, a Nashville, Georgia native and an advanced individual training drill sergeant at the U.S. Army Signal School Detachment on Fort Meade.

    “In the past we conducted it differently because you can read the regulation and the material, but until you see it being done correctly, you won’t do it to standard,” said Lewis, who has a military occupational specialty of multimedia illustrator.

    The NCOs certified as graders initially had mixed feelings of interest and uneasiness before the start of the training, but were excited nonetheless.

    “Soldiers are anxious because they really want to do good on the ACFT,” said Peoples. “One thing we see consistently when conducting the training is that individuals feel more confident about the ACFT after taking the test. They gain confidence. They see they can, and with some effort, score really well. The test itself builds morale too, you see people high-fiving each other during the test.”

    “The test was not as bad as I anticipated, but was it a little gruesome? Absolutely!” said Lewis.

    The dated Army Physical Fitness Test primarily assessed muscular and aerobic endurance. However, to be ready for the rigors of operations in a complex environment the ACFT assesses 10 components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, power, speed, agility, cardio endurance, balance, flexibility, coordination and reaction time.

    “For those that haven’t taken the test, there are resources out there, videos that you can look at to start educating yourself on the six events,” said Peoples. “Then, locate those individuals across your installation that have been trained and certified and ask them your questions. Reach out to other organizations if you need to and get trained.”

    “Also realize you may have to change what you do in the gym,” he added. “Approach it holistically. Your body is gonna thank you for it later. So just educate yourself, train, and don’t be afraid to try new workouts.”

    “I’m planning on getting 90 percent in each event next year,” said Lewis. “If you actually train, it should be doable.”

    The ACFT becomes the Army physical test of record no later than October 2020.



    Date Taken: 05.22.2019
    Date Posted: 05.22.2019 10:14
    Story ID: 323393
    Location: FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD, US 
    Hometown: MIAMI, FL, US
    Hometown: NASHVILLE, GA, US

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    Fort Meade prepares for new Army Combat Fitness Test