The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Initial Operational Capability (IOC) marks a significant stride in the implementation of the new Army fitness test. It represents the commencement of the test’s deployment to select units across the Army, serving as a litmus test for its effectiveness and viability.

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Gender Age

Maximum Deadlift (lbs.)

lbs. points

Standing Power Throw (m)

m points

Hand-Release Push-Ups (reps)

reps points

Sprint Drag Carry (m:s)

m s points

Plank (m:s)

m s points

2 Mile Run (m:s)

m s points

The ACFT IOC has a dual purpose: to evaluate the implementation process and to gather valuable feedback from soldiers and commanders. It provides an opportunity for soldiers to acquaint themselves with the test, understand its requirements, and undergo training to prepare for the ACFT.

During the IOC, select units will conduct the ACFT according to Army testing protocols and standards. The results will be scrutinized to assess the test’s effectiveness, reliability, and validity. Feedback from soldiers and commanders will further contribute to refining the test.

The ACFT IOC is a pivotal step in the Army’s quest to modernize its fitness test and adopt a more comprehensive approach to physical readiness. Insights gained from the IOC will ensure that the ACFT is not just effective but also fair and advantageous for all soldiers.

Purpose of ACFT IOC

Testing and Evaluating Readiness

The purpose of the ACFT IOC is clear: to rigorously test and evaluate the readiness and effectiveness of the new physical fitness test. As a successor to the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), the ACFT takes a more holistic approach to assess a soldier’s physical fitness in a functional manner.

Ensuring Standards and Accuracy

The ACFT IOC is a critical phase in guaranteeing that the new test aligns with stringent standards of accuracy, consistency, and reliability. Conducted under controlled conditions, the data collected during the IOC serves as a litmus test for any potential issues or areas needing improvement.

Guiding Future Decisions

Results from the ACFT IOC will inform decisions regarding the full-scale implementation of the new test across the Army. It will play a crucial role in identifying necessary adjustments or modifications before the test is officially rolled out.

In essence, the ACFT IOC is the cornerstone of the Army’s commitment to having a comprehensive and effective physical fitness test, accurately measuring a soldier’s combat readiness and supporting their overall health and fitness.

ACFT IOC Events: A Symphony of Physical Readiness

The Six Categories that Define Readiness

The testing events of the ACFT IOC are strategically designed to assess a soldier’s physical readiness for combat. These events, categorized into strength and endurance, each carry a maximum score of 100 points. Let’s delve into the six events:

  1. Deadlift: Evaluating lower-body strength, soldiers lift weights ranging from 140 to 340 pounds in three attempts.
  2. Standing Power Throw: Measuring explosive power, soldiers throw a 10-pound medicine ball as far as possible behind them.
  3. Hand-Release Push-Up: Testing upper-body strength and endurance, soldiers perform as many push-ups as possible in two minutes, with at least one hand release per push-up.
  4. Sprint-Drag-Carry: Assessing speed, agility, and strength, soldiers complete five tasks in sequence, including a sprint, drag, lateral shuffle, carry, and another sprint.
  5. Leg Tuck: Gauging core and grip strength, soldiers perform as many leg tucks as possible in two minutes, with knees touching their elbows.
  6. Two-Mile Run: Evaluating endurance, soldiers aim to complete a two-mile run as swiftly as possible.

The ACFT IOC is set to replace the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) starting in 2020. It’s intentionally designed to be more challenging than its predecessor, offering a comprehensive assessment of a soldier’s ability to perform in combat scenarios.

ACFT IOC Scoring: Setting the Bar for Fitness Standards

Measuring Strength, Endurance, and Agility

The scoring and standards of the ACFT IOC are crafted to ensure that soldiers meet the necessary physical fitness requirements for effective duty performance. This test, comprising six events, replaces the previous Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and employs a standardized scoring chart.

The Six Events and Maximum Points

The six events—deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-up, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck, and two-mile run—are each scored based on standardized criteria. The maximum possible score for the ACFT IOC stands at 600 points.

Gender and Age-Neutral Standards

A noteworthy aspect of the ACFT IOC is its gender and age-neutral standards. This means that all soldiers, regardless of age or gender, are held to the same physical fitness standards. These standards are customized to ensure that soldiers are fit enough to execute their specific job duties, with varying criteria for different military occupational specialties (MOS).

Passing the ACFT IOC

To pass the ACFT IOC, soldiers must achieve a minimum score of 360 points, with at least 60 points in each event. Failure to meet this minimum may result in remedial physical training and potential disciplinary action.

Beyond Fitness: Promoting Wellness

The ACFT IOC extends beyond measuring physical fitness; it is a catalyst for overall health and wellness among soldiers. Encouraging regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, the test aims to enhance both physical and mental well-being.

In essence, the scoring and standards of the ACFT IOC are meticulously designed to ensure that soldiers are not only physically fit for their duties but also contributing to their overall health and wellness.

ACFT IOC Preparation Guide

Steps to Peak Physical and Mental Readiness

Preparing for the ACFT IOC requires soldiers to be physically and mentally prepared. Here’s a guide to ready soldiers for this crucial test:

  1. Consistent Training: Soldiers should engage in consistent training for several months leading up to the ACFT IOC. This includes regular strength training, cardio workouts, and specific ACFT event practices.
  2. Target Weak Areas: Identify and focus on improving weak areas. If a soldier struggles with a particular event, dedicating extra practice time can lead to improvement.
  3. Build Endurance: Given that the ACFT is an endurance test, soldiers should focus on building endurance through regular cardio and interval training.
  4. Event Practice: Regularly practicing ACFT events is crucial. Aim for at least one practice session per week to boost confidence and enhance performance.
  5. Adequate Rest: Rest is vital for recovery and optimal performance. Soldiers should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and incorporate rest days as needed.
  6. Balanced Diet: Proper nutrition is key to fueling the body for optimal performance. Soldiers should maintain a balanced diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

By following these steps, soldiers can be well-prepared for the ACFT IOC, enabling them to showcase their best performance on test day.

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