Army takes a hard look at creating a combat readiness test

As the Army rolls out a new physical assessment for its newest soldiers, the service also is studying the possibility of creating a combat readiness test for troops already in the ranks.

The test, if senior Army leaders decide to pursue one, will be one way to assess soldiers’ abilities to meet the demands of their jobs after leaving the training environment, said Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, the senior enlisted soldier of Training and Doctrine Command.

“When we hand them over to the operational force, how do we ensure that they can still perform those high physical demand tasks?” Davenport said. “It’s about your ability to accomplish your task and how it affects readiness.”

This work comes as senior Army leaders have emphasized the importance of readiness and physical fitness.

Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley have made readiness their top priority, and Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey has repeatedly called for leaders to do PT with their soldiers. Dailey also is pushing to reduce the number of non-deployable soldiers across the force, especially as the Army gets smaller but the demand for troops around the world keeps getting bigger.

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