Infantry: Realistic PT For Combat


July 1, 2008: The U.S. Army is changing its physical training (PT) to more closely reflect the needs of combat. Instead of long distance running, sit-ups and push-ups, the new training emphasizes sprinting, agility and the kind of strength needed to carry weapons and equipment in combat. The new training also uses a twelve month physical training cycle that peaks when troops are deploying to a combat zone, or, in peacetime, doing a year or more of "ready for deployment" status.

The more advanced stages of the new physical training has troops doing the drills in full combat equipment. That won't be a problem, because the exercises they will be doing are the same kinds of moves they will make in combat.

All this is not a new idea. It first showed up over sixty years ago, during World War II, when army surveys of troops showed that combat veterans wish their training had emphasized more physical training, and more realistic physical training. The brass didn't get it back then, and after several more attempts, the combat troops have finally gotten physical training that prepares them for combat.

The new physical training manual is being boiled down from 645 pages to a hundred pages, and will be distributed by mid-2009.





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