ACFT 3.0 - A new way to Train for 600
Updated: Jun 14
The Army recently approved the third installment of the Army Combat Fitness Test: ACFT 3.0
So what's changed for ACFT 3.0?
The "plank" is approved as a scorable alternative to the leg tuck. Choose to plank or choose to leg tuck.
The Army will trial performance tiers based on gender to account for the physiological differences between men and women.
Minimum scores for high physical demand Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) appear to be a thing of the past.
What hasn't changed for ACFT 3.0?
The ACFT is still a far better assessment of meaningful fitness metrics than the APFT. The ACFT is still more expensive and time-consuming than the APFT (more on that later).
Until final implementation, leaders may not use a Soldier's score or comments on performance administratively -- SMA Grinston made it clear that he wants data in DTMS. Still, ACFT scores remain diagnostic until further notice.
The expected standard for Soldiers of any MOS is a minimum of 60 points in each event for a total of 360 points on the ACFT.
The ACFT scoring standards remain gender and age-neutral, but the Army intends to use a tiered performance system and option to plank to ensure the ACFT does not adversely or disproportionately affect any Soldier or group.
What does the future of the ACFT look like?
ACFT 3.0 consists of six events: Three-Repetition Strength Deadlift; Standing Power Throw; Arm Extension Push-Up; 250-Meter Sprint, Drag, Carry; Leg Tuck or Plank; and the Two-Mile Run.
All active-duty Soldiers should take two ACFTs for data collection by 1 October 2021. Reserve Component Soldiers should take at least one record ACFT before 1 October 2021.
The ACFT is a training requirement in Initial Military Training (IMT) but not a graduation requirement.
Soldiers with a permanent profile should execute any events their profile permits. Soldiers on a temporary profile that prevents a full six-event ACFT should recover, rehabilitate, recondition, and then complete a full ACFT.
During FY21, Soldiers attending institutional training courses that require a physical fitness test as an entrance requirement should use their last record APFT score. However, functional course commandants may continue to establish their own course-specific physical performance requirements (if they don't violate ACFT policies).
What are the ACFT 3.0 performance tiers?
The Army has not made final determinations, but here's an example: Soldiers who score in the top 1% by their gender may be designated as having a Platinum score; 10% may be banded into Gold; top 25% - Silver, top 50% - Bronze. Anyone who achieves a score of 360 and higher with a total score falling in the lower 50% of all ACFT scores could be placed in the Green band.
For now, Army leaders are exploring ACFT 3.0 tiered performance as a benchmark to guide data collection and drive training goals in FY21 and FY22. In the future, the Army may use performance categories by gender for certain administrative purposes while accounting for physiological differences between male and female Soldiers.
For more context, check out this tentative flow chart:
Some brief commentary on ACFT 3.0
The physiological differences between men and women are well-documented in exercise physiology research and literature. Using a percentile rank where the physical capacity of an individual is measured against members of the same gender make