ArmyTimes Link: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/04/army-test-takers-offer-advice-opinions-on-new-prt-040211w/
Frank Palkoska, director of the Army Physical Fitness School, said operational units using PRT are seeing a 20- to 30-point improvement in the current test. But this Army-wide program still lacks wide participation. Many units are still using the old program, or electing to go with popular fitness programs sweeping the nation.
But Sgt. First Class Cornelius Trammell said, “If you want to be successful in combat and in your career, you need to get on with the PRT and train your soldiers properly.”
“All of the stuff in the PRT is implemented out here,” he said. “If you do PRT right, you’re going to fly through this test.”
Shoenfelt, a 12-year infantryman who regularly scores a 300 on the PT test, had just finished the CRT, which may replace one of the two PT tests soldiers do each year. He called that test a “smoker” that challenged a lot of muscle groups that hadn’t been challenged before.
He demonstrated the CRT with fellow instructor Trammell. The duo wore the Army Combat Uniform with helmet and rifle for the CRT, which kicks off with a 400-meter run followed by an obstacle course. The soldiers pushed through low hurdles, high crawls and over-under obstacles that tested individual movement techniques. Next was a 40-yard casualty drag of a 180-pound litter, followed by a 40-yard run with 35-pound ammo cans atop a balance beam.
With muscles burning, the pair conducted point, aim and move drills followed by a 100-yard ammo can shuttle sprint. The CRT wrapped up with a 100-yard agility sprint.
Trammell came in at 5 minutes flat. The wheeled vehicle mechanic, who scored a 278 on the last PT test, said his thighs were still feeling the effects of the casualty drag. Shoenfelt was 13 seconds behind him. As they caught their breath, a lean and weathered general offered his blunt philosophy behind the CRT.
“When it comes time for the current test, people who are in shape don’t prepare for it while others cram in the weeks ahead,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who as deputy commanding general for initial military training was chief architect of the new test. “With this test, even if you are in great shape, it will get the best of you if you are not prepared.”
There was no argument from a winded Hernandez, who described the new test as “more physically demanding.” Foster said it is a “better measuring tool.”
“You can be fat and out of shape and pass the old APFT. That’s impossible with this one,” she said.
“There is a key difference between readiness and fitness,” Hertling said. “This test is about readiness. It’s about soldiers being ready to be a tactical athlete.”
Part 1 Here
Part 3 will be posted later this week.