The British Army has been demonstrating its new In-Service Physical Employment Standards for all ground close combat roles which will come into effect from 2019.
The Army say that current policy on physical employment standards hadn’t been changed for 20 years and needed updating. According to a statement:
“These new physical fitness standards are objective, measurable, role-related and gender-free to ensure Army personnel have the physical capability to meet the necessary force preparation and operational requirements.”
PES will be incorporated into a new structured suite of Army Role Fitness Tests – a series of tests to assess whether personnel are fit for a specific role.
The new tests aim to replicate combat scenarios by mimicking real-life tasks.
Tests will include casualty extraction from a vehicle, repeated lift and carry and fire and manoeuvre. The standards are based on detailed analysis of roles, with the scientific research being conducted by the University of Chichester.
Under the new system soldiers will have to do a 4km march carrying 40kg of equipment in less than 40 minutes, followed by a 2km march carrying 25kg of equipment in under 15 minutes. Soldiers will then have to complete a fire and move exercise in less than five minutes, followed by a 20m drag of a 110kg weight.
They will then have to carry two water cans weighing 22kg each over 240m in under four minutes, followed by lifting a 70kg weight and holding it for three seconds. Finally soldiers will have to carry bags weighing 20kg 20 times over a distance of 30m.
Field Army Sergeant Major Gavin Paton was quoted as saying:
“I don’t care if you are a man or a woman, I don’t care what you do, and the enemy doesn’t either.”