Army aims for more combat-ready troops with new fitness test

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises that are designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat.

Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren’t fit enough. Nearly half surveyed last year said new troops coming into their units couldn’t meet the physical demands of combat.

Officials also say about 12 percent of soldiers at any one time can’t deploy because of injuries.

The Army says the old fitness test didn’t adequately measure the physical attributes needed for battle. They hope the new test will help screen out recruits who are less physically fit and mentally disciplined.

Reaching the new fitness levels will be challenging.

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