As a soldier, there is a lot of training that goes into the job. When first enlisting, there is a physical fitness test to ensure you can handle all the rigors the job entails. When you are injured, there are still standards in order to get back in the field, but the standards will depend on the severity of the injury and your role in the unit. While the Army in particular is currently testing and developing a test specifically for injured soldiers returning to the field, the general rule is that a soldier must still complete a required minimum of the events on the original Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) to get back in action. Let's take a look at a few items to work on as to get ready for a fitness test for injured soldiers.
Please note that these are suggested exercises related to the ones on the ACFT, but you should never attempt any exercises post injury without first consulting with your physician to avoid further risk of injury.
The ACFT focuses on six standard events as a measure of physical ability to perform the functions of a soldier.
- Standing power throw
- Hand release pushups
- Leg tucks
- 2 mile run
If the ACFT is revised in 2020 as planned, there may be modifications where injured soldiers would be required to complete as many of the standard events listed above as possible, but there would be exceptions made, provided soldiers can still perform a minimum of the maximum deadlift, the sprint-drag-carry event, and then an alternate event. The alternate event would give injured soldiers the choice between a 5,000-meter row, stationary bike ride of 15,000 meters, or a swim of at least 1,200 meters. Regardless of which one the solider chooses, they must reach the specified distance within in 25 minutes or less to pass the fitness test.
When looking at the fitness test for injured soldiers, it should also be kept in mind that these suggested events may not apply to all types of soldiers or all types of injuries. In fact, the modified fitness test for injured soldiers would only be for certain soldiers limited by their injury and would require signatures from their physician and a second opinion.
If you are an injured soldier looking to get back in fighting form, and provided you consult your physician beforehand to avoid any further or worsened injuries, focusing on the six events listed above on the standard ACFT would be a good starting point to get back in shape. You can also add in one or several of the alternate events as part of your training plan in consultation with your physician since the exercises of running, swimming, and biking are good for overall health.