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PHYSICAL READINESS


THEN AND NOW


Here’s how the services’ fi tness requirements have changed over the years.


By Senior


Staff Writer Gina


Harkins


rates in the ranks. Seventeen percent of active-duty


T


soldiers were classifi ed as obese in 2015, according to service’s 2016 “Health of the Force” report. Leaders rolled out a new holistic health and fi tness program in 2017 to address the problem, which includes a possible new combat fi tness test that could replace soldiers’ existing test. Marines completed their own review in


The Army’s 1969 requirements included a low crawl (above) and an agility run (above right).


2016 that resulted in changes to their body composition and fi tness standards. A year earli- er, Coast Guard leaders looked at rolling out the fi rst-ever service-wide fi tness test. Coasties had been taking fi tness tests specifi c to their jobs, and the comman- dant ultimately decided to keep it that way.


PHOTOS: FROM TOP, GARSYA/SHUTTERSTOCK; U.S. ARMY; U.S. ARMY


he Army is reviewing its fitness requirements as the service grapples with rising obesity


This isn’t the fi rst time military leaders have worried about the possibility of troops’ de- clining fi tness. In 1960, the head of the physical education department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., lamented the issue in a memo to the com- mandant of cadets, the school’s highest-ranking offi cer. “We fi nd ourselves now in a rather seri-


ous predicament, one which is becoming more serious each year,” the memo states. “Incoming cadets possess less physical ability than they did 20 or 30 years ago. … At the same time, it is apparent that the offi cer of today and tomorrow will need more physical coordination, strength, and stamina than his predecessor.” Here’s a look at how DoD branches


have adjusted their physical fi tness re- quirements throughout the years.


January 2018 | MILITARY OFFICER | 61


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