The Army standard is the legal standard. Other units sometimes "require" attainment of a higher standard, which can be great for morale, esprit, and discipline, but not necessarily enforceable outside of a training environment (much to the chagrin of some senior people). For example at SETAF we wanted all our maroon berets to run five miles, pronto. I arrived to find a crew that could barely run two miles. It doesn't matter how fast and far you can run if no one can follow! Unless you are in retreat. And for that reason I do detest the "everyone for themselves" mentality of PT, etc. I discovered that my crew was one day in a TDA position, the next they were in TOE due to unit cuts. They were still cutting the plastic liners out of their berets. The LTC and I had no problem getting them up to standard, but there was no way those particular soldiers would get up to five miles overnight. If we ran them to the ground we'd be courtmartialed for neglect. I'm all for chaptering out the unsuitable, but I'm a great fan of fairness. No matter how pissed and how much disdain and peer pressure we endured, it takes training and conditioning and desire and example and encouragement to go beyond the minimum standard! The point here was the "five" mile thing can be just another random and false measure. Sure, it's great to know your entire unit can go five miles. But guess what, they won't all get there at the same time. From where I sit, it can dangerous to do things on autopilot without a well thought plan. It's not great to know you don't have a plan to get everyone up to snuff or to take care of those who for whatever reason can't meet muster. All emphasis was on the need to "force" compliance; no thought was given to the reason for "five" miles vs four or even six, and the predictable medical issues that were valid. We fail to question our assumptions sometimes as leaders. Airborne=five miles=warrior is not necessarily true. It's just convenient, low hanging fruit "that's the way it's always been done" mentality. "Because I can do it, so must you" is right up there with stubbornly thinking only your Branch or skill is important. If we think outside the box, we can find some really neat, exceptionally motivating ways to set both a minimum standard and higher standards for excellence that only few elite warriors will attain. Even the fattest, slowest, sloth will follow an elite warrior who is leading from the front, not admiring his odometer.
As a former XVIII ABN soldier, I can say that there is an increase emphasis on physical fitness. Battalion run standards were 4 miles in 36 minutes, and we had a 20K ruck standard (3 or 4 hours?). I believe it was used more as a way to test the fitness of the whole command to see if the company needed to revamp its PT program. No adverse actions as far as I am aware, but the company/platoon will likely work harder on getting you to meet the standard. I can't speak for subordinate units, but would imagine they are the same or slightly more rigid.
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