Army Fitness Standards Plunge for “Social Justice”

social-justice-warriorsArmy managers (not leaders, they’re fresh out of leaders) were in a tough position. They had sworn to uphold combat arms fitness standards and prevent ineffective soldiers from joining, but they were ordered to make Social Justice, as defined by a system of race and sex quotas, paramount in personnel management. All while maintaining a fiction that these were anything but race and sex quotas!

What’s a self-before-service careerist to do? Why, “suck up and squirt down,” as always. If the personnel don’t meet the standards, a careerist lowers the standards, and conceals the standards plunge by any obfuscatory technique that seems to be handy. The ends justify the means — and the ends never have anything to do with combat readiness.

One way this is being done is with a new fitness assessment called the OPAT, or Occupational Physical Assessment Test, which is just for soldiers trying to change jobs to a more physical specialty. It involves four exercises:

  1. A standing long jump;
  2. Seated power throw of a 2 kg (4.4lb) ball;

    A soldier demonstrates the seated power throw.

    A soldier demonstrates the seated power throw.

  3. Deadlift from the ground to standing erect with arms at full hang, using a trap bar;deadlift
  4. A new kind of shuttle run on an electric timer, which is scored by repetitions.

The political officers developing the test considered using combat-oriented tests of ability like the Ranger Physical Assessment Test, but those tests didn’t meet the prime objective of removing physical fitness as a limitation on the assignment of careerist women officers. The OPAT uses the tools of modern fitness assessment and management, but limits them to an extremely low standard, to get around the biological complication of sexual dimorphism in Homo sapiens. 

For combat arms, you need to jump 160 centimeters (about 5’3″), throw the ball 450 centimeters, deadlift 160 pounds, and complete 43 lengths (one way) of the 20-meter shuttle run. The reason? For the greater glory of the Rangerettes, of course.

This new requirement comes as the Army works to integrate women into its previously closed combat specialties. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Dec. 3 lifted all gender-based restrictions on military service, paving the way for women to serve in the previously all-male infantry, armor and Special Forces fields and opening nearly 220,000 jobs across the military.

A team of OPAT experts, as part of the Army’s broader effort to educate the force on opportunities now available to female soldiers in previously closed jobs , will travel to the service’s major installations beginning later in September.

The women admitted under this standard aren’t really the problem — because the standards are sex-neutral (the credentialed-but-uneducated cretins who drafted them say “gender-neutral,” because they haven’t mastered the denotational difference between sex and gender), they will admit lots of men to combat arms, men who are as strong as the average woman.

maj-nick-barringerOr, as fitness expert MAJ Nick Barringer breaks it down in another story in Army Times, for the four exercises, based on published papers: as strong as the average 12-year old Hungarian boy. As strong as average 9-to-14-year-old boys. One-sixth as strong as 13-to-15-year-old boys who had eight weeks of training with a trap bar. And as strong as a 16 to 35 year old male non-athlete in “poor” health, or a “very good” senior citizen.

Nick sums it up:

The current standard for combat arms, according to the OPAT, requires you to have the lower body power of mediocre 12-year-old, the upper body power of an elite 14-year-old, the strength of an average 13-to-15-year-old who works out, and the endurance level of a fit senior citizen.

I get that some will argue that these are the minimum physical performance requirements when correlated with basic soldier tasks in the combat MOS world. However, we are looking at the minimum standard the wrong way.

Right now, it’s being used as an access point, measuring when a soldier is at his or her best. Instead, it should be the minimum level of performance a soldier can maintain indefinitely when at his or her worst.

When these soldier tasks happen in the real world, is the individual well-rested, perfectly fueled and adequately hydrated? Probably not, so we need to start at a point where even on the worst day their power, strength, and endurance is at a level that leaves no question they can perform above and beyond the minimum requirement as long as needed.

MAJ Barringer, hope it was worth it, because you just threw your career away by failing to see the glories of the emperor’s raiment. But he’s not done:

Otherwise, the only test standard that should be raised is the number of shuttles: If an individual who barely meets the current strength and power standards happens to meet a fit prepubescent teen, they at least better be able to run.

In a way, albeit a perverse way, the OPAT approach is pure genius. The weak, unfit men who will need to be carried by their fit peers or stuffed into rear-area supernumerary positions will far outnumber the women who will need similar treatment. The women won’t look nearly as bad as they have so far, not surrounded by acres of Millennial (or is it Millenial — not based on mille annum, but mille anum?) cheetos-chewing couch commandoes.

Now, this couch potato test will not be applied to currently serving soldiers in the combat arms. The Acela aristocracy has got a bunch of wars they’ve started, and it’s not like they’re going to send their own kids (male, female, or confused) to fight them. The test will only be used to sweep volunteers from non-combat specialties through to combat arms unimpeded. The real purpose is to open the door to careerist female officers, especially Academy graduates.

55 thoughts on “Army Fitness Standards Plunge for “Social Justice”

  1. SPEMack

    I don’t think I’m gonna have to wait before retirement age before I hit full on misanthrope.

    1. DaveP

      I may be able to see the vein throbbing in your forehead from here.

      Deep breaths, deep breaths.

      1. SPEMack

        31Dec. And then I’m going to the GA National Guard. And I’m going to drink beer to excess, not shave, wear black socks, read, hunt, fish, and work on my book about Nimitz and Marshall. And try not to watch the news.

        1. Seacoaster

          No kidding. Same day. Does seem like there’s a slow exodus from combat arms battalions, but not a set of stars on the table anywhere.

          1. SPEMack

            Guys from my commissioning cycle are falling into two groups:
            Guys like me who are like fuck it, I’m out. I don’t care that I’m pushing 10-12 years, I’m done.

            And then guys who are like what buzzword diversity project can I find next Major/Light Colonel is right around the corner.

            Yeah, no body liked those guys in the second group at Benning. And to a man, most of them were things other than Infantry, Artillery, or Armor.

          2. Hognose Post author

            The Guard or Reserve lets you salvage the pension, if you can stick it out to the point of a 20-year-letter. Then you draw pension at age 60 (it might have gone up to 62).

        2. Al T.

          Holler. We can get together and dink some brown liquor together. South Kackalacky here…..

  2. Tierlieb

    > One-sixth as strong as 13-to-15-year-old boys who had eight weeks of training with a trap bar.
    Stop. The 1RM max is not 6x the 6RM max.

    While it is impossible to correctly estimate the 1RM Max from the 6RM Max for an individual, on average, a 6RM Max of 160lbs translates 1RM Max of roughly 190lbs.

    Which makes them about 85% as capable as 13-to-15-year-old boys who had eight weeks of training with a trap bar.

    Kudos for using a trap bar, though, that leads to a healthier movement pattern in untrained individuals, I would say.

  3. Roger

    I suspect that you should check your spelling. You typed the word ‘force’. It should be spelled
    ‘farce’ when used in this context.

    My God help the troops that go into harms way when the standards are set so politically correctly.

    1. Miles

      They actually made a movie with the last word of the title ‘Farce’, and a few of those movie posters were around but outnumbered by the Chuck Norris posters hanging around our CIF.
      I had an idea for the title of a 3rd movie. It’s last word was “Farts”.

  4. Steven Y.

    Much like voting, I have to wonder why they bother setting any sort of “standard” at all.

    TPTB in .gov and .mil already know what they want, they should tell the rest of the world to suck it and do as they please. It’s what they will end up doing anyway.
    We can save a lot of irritation by realizing that they will stop only when they are STOPPED.

    1. AlanHan

      Your last sentence appears to contain a great wish. My own experience is that .gov and .mil do, ultimately, what .com desires. For the last twenty-seven years .com has been globalizing, off-shoring technology, physical plant, and physical asset ownership. The large-scale owners of .com land can buy as much .gov and .mil as they need, until they don’t need very much of it here at all.

      Those who dwell by the sea stand a better chance than those living close to the forests when loyalties fray.

  5. RostislavDDD

    >>>The current standard for combat arms, according to the OPAT, requires you to have the lower body power of mediocre 12-year-old, the upper body power of an elite 14-year-old, the strength of an average 13-to-15-year-old who works out, and the endurance level of a fit senior citizen.

    Has read. I found the video. I showed son (15).
    Jump from place – “I jump at 2.2 meters”
    Balls weighing about 2 kg of the children throw at 3, 4 and 5 meters. The ring on the accuracy. But because of the head.
    Stange will not check – 60+ kg child from the breast squeeze. 73 kg of his weight.

    Running the ball and threatened to test in school.
    That’s too bad, dear WeaponsMan. Carter does not serve his country. It serves people who need cheap popularity.
    I’ll show savagery.
    It is typical behavior for a “rainbow”. :( As a woman, all for the sake of a loved one.

  6. DaveP.

    Poor dude in the ‘seated ball throw’ picture looks embarrassed, like he was asked to hold his wife’s purse…

  7. David

    When I was an eleven or twelve year old boy I started messing around with the Sears plastic and sand weights in our basement.
    Instant delts. I was fat, not much else was obvious.
    Testosterone is a hell of a drug.

  8. Hillbilly

    I started my Army career as a 19D and was never Infantry, but even being a lowly armor branch MOS we took some pride in physical conditioning. At one point just before I left for bigger and better things our platoon average was just over 270. This is not great by any means, but compared to the run of the mill non combat arms units it is pretty good.
    Someone who barely passes OPAT standards is going to be in for a rude awakening when they get to a unit with some real (even if unwritten) PT standards.

    1. John M.

      Any unit that has some real (even if unwritten) PT standards is going to be in for a rude awakening when they get one a snowflake.

      -John M.

  9. 11B-Mailclerk

    When such a band of blunders encounters a bunch of sex-selected, hard-ass trained opposing infantry, “slaughter” will not begin to tally the butcher bill.

    Or even a bunch of rabble that grew up on farms or working as laborers.

  10. Aesop

    These F*CKTARDS are going to kill TWO people: the fat unfit female pogues who can’t cut it in combat arms, and the GUY who’ll have to pick up her slack – unless defensive fragging and knee-capping becomes a thing (which I predict it will, the minute things get sporty for a given unit).

    Pity the Army didn’t lay out an M2 Browning with tripod and T&E, an Abrams track link, and a 155mm shell, and tell candidates for those branches to hustle up a hill with them, and then do between 20 and 100 reps of lifting them from the ground to a shelf located at shoulder height not less than 5′ above the ground, and score that as a timed event.

    Too easy, and it would have weeded out 106% of the ersatz Amazons, particularly from the chairborne careerist dykes (all seven of them, service-wide) pushing this thing.

    No worries, we’ll just go large on body bags next time.

    “Big Green having increasing trouble finding anyone foolish enough to sign up or stay in” in 3,2,…

  11. robroysimmons

    In my 50s and could probably do the Ranger minimum. Still that is barely acceptable because I can remember my time in arty and having to help the gun grapes move 155 mm and I was a laggard

    But you know what is weak? The average conservative lumpen who is being abused by the scum that runs this country

  12. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

    Well, look on the bright side, gents:

    If Hillary wants to order the military to seize privately owned weapons, the socially promoted SJW cadres will be in for a rude surprise when they meet the non-PC version of the military who they hazed out, and who now wear civilian attire.

    1. John M.

      The de-Redneckification of our military may go down in history along with Jerry Bremer disbanding the Iraqi Army, filed under “Blunders, Strategic.”

      -John M.

        1. John M.

          It’s not too late for the history to be written in a trade pidgin forged on a grey/green isle off the northwest coast of Europe.

          It’s ALMOST too late. But not too late.

          After all, the people living around the place where Jerry Bremmer made his mistake aren’t speaking that aforementioned trade pidgin.

          This all reminds me that I need to start drilling field shooting positions with my oldest.

          -John M.

  13. 11B-Mailclerk

    The -last- thing intended by the SJWs is for the product of this lunacy to be used to win a war. War, to them cannot be won. Thus no need to waste time and treasure on such antique notions.

    Now, of course, such a force might be expected to obey duitifully its masters who direct it against -internal- foes. After all, the only enemies recognized by the SJWs are, well, us.

  14. Badger

    Great Caesar’s Ghost, YGBSM – how could they stop there? Proceed right to the new DLAT; no, not that one. The Desire Level Assessment Test. Well, this broke-up old warhorse can still pass the >35 PCPT, so I should smoke this one. (In fact both my teen grand-daughters could but, in displaying wisdom beyond their years, they have no desire to be part of such a daily-morphing test tube.)

    But wait… what’s that cloud of adult reality gathering…?
    Oh, yeah, SNAP! The part about putting my (much younger/fitter) brothers at risk because I got in via prom night. OK, back to instrumental surf, good coffee, watching you build your plane & reflecting on what a great period of history I had a chance to be part of.
    Walks off, shaking head laughing, muttering Aloha Snackbar! in gratitude of retirement.)

  15. Jeff

    What is the beep schedule for the shuttle run? It says the beeps start out 1 minute apart, and then get closer together. I’d like to know what they are and time myself. In crossfit there is a common wod element called Every Minute on the Minute, and it’s usually done with running a 10 meter shuttle. Then each minute, you have to do one more 10 meter sprint than the last. So it quickly becomes a “how far can you sprint in 1 minute, doing 180’s”. Some of the highest level fit guys or girls in the gym will get to 15 or 18 reps before being outpaced by the minute timer. Given than a straight line 400m run in 1 minute is wicked fast, that seems pretty good to me. But I’d like to see what the beep schedule looks like, if they expect you to get 44 or so 20m runs in.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Jeff, I don’t know the beep schedule. It seems like 43 is an awful lot of 20m runs, considering that you’d be putting multiple soldiers through this in most cases. (Not as bad as when you have one hour on the schedule to give the PT test to your 300-soul TDA unit).

  16. TRX

    There have been periodic cries to replace the 5.56×45 with something that doesn’t have Kuntzman-level recoil. I guess the next generation of military rifles will shoot the .22 Short…

  17. LSWCHP

    Dismal though they appear to be to good men who’ve known better times, these are actually the good ole days that we will soon be fondly looking back on.

    Wait until the appalling Hillary Clinton is your commander in chief. Then you’ll see some *real* dumbass lunacy going down. Things that we can’t even begin to imagine right now will soon be accepted as normal.

    A female psychopath and her islamist advisor running Anerica. What a ghastly thought.


    The 4-event OPAT is indisputably modeled after USMA’s 4-event “Physical Aptitude Evaluation” (PAE), of the 1970’s. The PAE was administered to all Nominees (typically high-school seniors) competing for an Appointment to USMA. The PAE was the last evaluation by Admissions, and followed submission of high school transcript(s) and SAT scores, as well as passing the medical examination.
    The PAE was a bizarre test and consisted of the following 4 events (apparently in no particular sequence)
    A. Kneeling (both knees on ground) Basketball Throw
    B. Standing Broad (or Long) Jump
    C. Pull-ups (palms facing forward, NOT palms facing to the rear as done in Airborne School, Ranger School, and The 82d Airborne Division) NOTE: For female applicants, the “Flexed Arm Hang” (palms forward) was used in lieu of Pull-ups.
    D. 300 Yard Shuttle Run, between two lines 25 yards apart.

    The PAE was unique to West Point. The PAE was used ONLY for admissions purposes and was NOT used for anything at West Point. Scores on the PAE had NO correlation with scores on the “old” 5-event , pre-1980, PT Test (Horizontal Ladder, Run/Dodge/Jump, Crabwalk, 2-mile Run (in boots), and Bent-leg Sit-ups (in 60 seconds). Presumably, scores on the PAE had no correlation with the new, post-1980 3-event PT Test (2-mile Run, Push-ups (2 minutes), Bent-leg Sit-ups (2 minutes).

    As a Cadet, I was told that the PAE was devised by the Office of Physical Education (OPE) and was meant to satisfy two inflexible requirements, namely, no special equipment, and, no skilled testing personnel.
    In the words of an OPE Captain ( former USMA Football Player with a Master’s in PE from Ball State University): “We wanted a Test that could be administered by the Principal’s Secretary on the basketball court, or even in the hallway, of a 100-student high school in North Dakota in the middle of a blizzard.”.

    1. Hognose Post author

      It certainly sounds like a similar concept. But the new test requires some equipment. Nothing exotic, but a trap bar, medicine ball, and an exercise timer.

      When you started to describe the test, I did think of the five-event test. As late as 1987 1st SFOD-D recruiting was still administering the five-event test to volunteers for selection.

  19. Mike_C

    >Much like voting, I have to wonder why they bother setting any sort of “standard” at all. TPTB in .gov and .mil already know what they want, they should tell the rest of the world to suck it and do as they please. It’s what they will end up doing anyway.

    Because it’s not enough that we comply. In the twisted world view of the sort of people behind this kind of thing, we must give positive assent. There must be buy-in from all stake holders. To put it another way, it’s not enough to lay there getting raped, one must also shout “O! It’s so big and wonderful, Bill!” [to pick a random – totally random – name]

    Well, at least this grabastic plan will get the military to reflect American society as a whole. Not in the sense intended, but to reflect the reality of everyone else having to carry the non-hackers foisted on the team in the name of diversity or equality or what-have-you.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Because it’s not enough that we comply. In the twisted world view of the sort of people behind this kind of thing, we must give positive assent.

      One of the themes of 1984. It’s not enough for Winston Smith to accept, to assent, to stop resisting Big Brother. He has to love Big Brother.

      It’s also the essential difference, in my mind, behind an authoritarian like Strössner or Pinochet (to keep things in the Western Hemisphere) and a totalitarian like, say, Castro or Chavez.

      1. W. Fleetwood

        On a happier note: I hope we all celebrated the 9th, which was Dead Che Day.and probably the M2 Carbines finest hour.

        Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

        1. Hognose Post author

          Dang, that used to be an official Weaponsman holiday, and this year we missed it. He’s now buried in his own version of Napoleon’s Tomb, but they don’t have all the pieces.

      2. John M.

        You just nailed one of the key differences between the right and the Left. The Left can’t abide the thought that you might not love them.

        It’s been many years since I read 1984, but I remember it well. I recently read Brave New World. Both Orwell and Huxley got some things wrong, but man, between the two of them, they built an incredibly prescient view of the world we live in, not to mention the one we appear to be hurtling towards at a rapid pace.

        -John M.

        1. RSR

          Matthew Bracken’s Enemies Foreign and Domestic series is the spookiest spot on dystopian novel I’ve read recently (believe there are 3 books to the series). Basically, it’s about societal breakdown in the US from losing constitutional rights to the nation fragmenting… I found the books scary accurate, but interesting.

          FWIW, the author is a former SEAL.

          1. Hognose Post author

            I actually read those as he was writing them, and couldn’t agree with you more. Good guy, and a very good writer. Haven’t exchanged an email with him in years, hope he’s okay and finally had time to get the boat back in the water.

            Funny, another SEAL I know was his training officer and the two can’t stand each other. Some history there. From my point of view they’re both good guys.

  20. bloke_from_ohio

    So someone who weighs more than 160lbs is hosed should they need lifted and carried. Awesome!

    1. Bob

      Keep in mind that soldiers in the field would be wearing their gear… So the deadlifter would be unable to lift even a 160 lbs dude because the gear would already be weighing both down, increasing the difficulty of the lift from both ends. And the lifter would likely be performing sub-optimally due to a long deployment and lack of warm-up.
      The trap bar deadlift also has the weight go “through” the body, rather than in front of it…

      At any rate, well trained children can do all that and more.
      Well trained teenage athletes annilhilate those standards. I suppose they’re there to give future 110lb asian hostiles better odds of victory, for fairness and all… Somebody check if there have been any recent lawsuits involving the vietcong vs. U.S.

      1. Hognose Post author

        All of the tests in this laughable OPAT include provisions for warmups, practice attempts, and do-overs. Wouldn’t want some Unique And Special Snowflake® to be “triggered,” would we?

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