Posted on Sep 29, 2015
COL Jim Kohlmann
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TRADOC is tinkering with Basic again. Looks like they are heading in the right direction, but they are missing the boat by STILL not requiring trainees to pass the APFT. That was one of my biggest gripes as a Battalion Commander in Korea - if they can't make it in a training environment, don't pass the problem on to us in the field! What do you think? http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/careers/army/enlisted/2015/09/27/these-new-tests-army-recruits-must-pass-basic-training/72754566/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=
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LTC Joseph Gross
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I would disagree. TRADOC learned long ago that the lower standard greatly reduced PT related injuries and still allowed Soldiers to complete AIT in good shape where they ARE required to pass the APFT at the Army standard. If you had Soldiers showing up unable to pass the APFT that was not an IET problem. That they showed up without shin splints is the result of the current training standards.

By the way, during my two years as a BCT Commander at Fort Jackson, we averaged 234 despite only being required to meet the BCT lower standard. It was rare that we had a Soldier graduate only meeting the BCT standard. If there is a problem it is not at BCT.
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MSG Brad Sand
MSG Brad Sand
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Sorry Sir,

From reading COL Jim Kohlmann's statement 'they are missing the boat by STILL not requiring trainees to pass the APFT. That was one of my biggest gripes as a Battalion Commander in Korea' I jump to the wrong conclusion. I apologize for not my misreading...but not for my stance.
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MAJ Small Group Leader
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What is the recruitment standard?....My recruiter gave me a diagnostic APFT and made me earn the costs associated with even being sent to basic and that was in 2004. Certainly our standards are higher now.
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SFC Senior Instructor/Writer
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The APFT standard has been the same for a long time, and the process produces results that are outstanding given the timeline and some of the volunteers we are starting with. All Soldiers leave AIT with a passing score of at least 60 points in each event. The place where we fail most is to instill the pride and personal discipline that is needs to maintain that fitness level while on leave, or between the last APFT in AIT and the first one at their initial duty station. I see NCOs and officers who do the same thing. They slack and get lazy after they pass that APFT and they start "getting ready" about 4-5 months later. That is an Army wide thing that we all need to address, it is not a TRADOC standards problem. Also to touch on the lax NCO or Officer in the training environment, that is probably the bigger issue. They fail to actually hold the new Soldiers to the standard, and then tell other leaders to lighten up when they are actually doing the job of training to standard. We as leaders need to take responsibility for each other and Do a little policing among our peers. The standards will get the job done.
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CPT Daniel Cox
CPT Daniel Cox
2 y
Running in boots brought on my shin splints in BCT in 1974. I thought switching to running shoes was supposed to preclude that?
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SPC Christopher Perrien
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Edited >1 y ago
How things change. When I joined 1985, you were not going to leave Basic/AIT without passing the PT test . 40pu/40su/2m-15:00mins. Now this was Armor US Army. And at a regular duty station if you could not pass 2 tests with a 6 month interval you were gone.

Normal days , our officers, who didn't go break track, or have bust ass details, or drink all night, would have us running 1 1/2+ to 5 miles a day , 4 times a week. I hated running and I think it has lead to back problems now. We on occasion(monthly, or Bi-mn) did 7-8 mile runs. Try that with a "hating-life" hangover and/or being a 40+ year old NCO. LOL

More important , our infantry minded officers with their 5+ mile runs , and they then play tennis in the afternoon, rather than slinging a sledge:), just did not understand ,

Tankers ain't Infantry, if a tanker has to run, it means we have lost the war. :)
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
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Team,

I been around a day or two like many of you so lets agree that requirements change and experiences vary. Now to the topic at hand:

Issue #1. TR 350-6 (ENLISTED INITIAL ENTRY TRAINING POLICIES AND ADMINISTRATION) DTD 25 SEP 2015 (this week) provides OSUT/AIT was only meant to get you a soldier that was at the 60% mark. You have a very short period of time to mold and move them out. The units take them and get them to the next levels. What ever those levels are. Realisitically, that is a bear to do. Ask any DS out here. The specifc chapter and verses that talks PRT/APFT is 5-8, 5-9 and 5-10.

OSUT does an incredible job getting over 95% (probably greater) of their soldiers to higher standard than "60%" I know... I got many Infantrymen from the "Benning School for Wayward Boys" from 85-95 and it was the rare PVT that wasn't able to do what was asked. No, many were not use to the "god awful" weight of a ruck and gear... but they... most of them in my experience... adapted and gained the strength. I think we confuse the "few" with the majority of the good we get from the training base.

Issue #2. TR 350-6 (ENLISTED INITIAL ENTRY TRAINING POLICIES AND ADMINISTRATION) DTD 25 SEP 2015 (this week) provides for enlisted IET. These have not change very much in recent time.
OSUT soliders must pass the PRT/APFT prior to graduation... hell I did in 1983 and to a greater extent everyone in my OSUT had well over 210... I actually had a 300 and got my first LTC CoA for doing so (hey... that was 5 promotion points then). BCT was/is different... the requirement has been 50% because they must pass the APFT prior to graduation from AIT. Remember... OSUT is BCT and AIT rolled up into one! Again, the specifc chapter and verses that talks PRT/APFT is 5-8, 5-9 and 5-10.

I also know about the above concerning AIT because when I was medically reclass from the INF as a senior SSG in 96... and I attended AIT at Fort Eustis. While there the Drill Sergeants asked for my help with the adminsitration of the monthly diagnostic APFT" and "APFT failures". This is where I learned that a diagnostic PRT/APFT was required monthly untill graduation... at which time... two week prior to graduation the student soldiers would be adminstiered a "for Record" APFT. Here I want you to remember that these soldiers "remedial" soldiers were also rare exception... not the rule. In the AIT company I was attached less than 20 out of a 300+ AIT company. That's not a bad OR rating in my book.

Issue #3 Injurys... I won't belabor the point that LTC Joseph Gross provided in this thread. I will only amplify this by saying that those of use that graduated the Master Fitness Course learned well that the injurys that were sustained by 1st termers were mostly due to PT... and accounted for most medical retention boards. Any CO/1SG and CSM on here can probably attest to this! and not for only a 1st termer... but for careerist also. As a MFT it was our responsibility to ensure that a APFT program was established for "total fitness"... which simply does not happen over night... and try to minimize the risk for injury.

Lastly, the BIG ARMY agreed to enlist a soldier for X years. For the case of many... 3-4 years. The idea is to get a soldier to a "BASIC" level knowledge, training, education, and yes fitness... and then get them out to the Army to perform a mission. If you want to keep a soldier in the TTHS account to obtain a great given level of any of those areas... then the big Army most understand that units... all units... will have those resources for a shorter period of time. If this is acceptable... then so be it.

My opinion? Give me a kid that is in the last stages of the forming process... I'm an NCO... or I was... I'd get them ready for that next "'100M". Thank goodness I had leadership that felt the same way!

My two cents
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1SG Drill Sergeant
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IMHO, there's not a lot of difference between a 60% pass on the APFT and your local bar slug.  I agree, there's not much time between the time boots show up and ship out.  Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and seen the video.
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
1SG Cameron M. Wesson
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1SG (Join to see) i agree... But if 60% is what it takes to get a kid to me... I'll take them... My job is to get them better.
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1SG Drill Sergeant
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson - I can't help but wonder about motivations here. is the 60% acknowlegement that kids come into BCT worthless, weak and there's not much time to fix the weak part? OR is it so TRADOC can beef up their graduation rates and numbers? IMHO, Army needs to pull a page out of the USMC playbook - ie. - you want to join us, be prepared to break your ass doing so.
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