Recent data from the Ministry of Defence highlights the performance of soldiers in the Role Fitness Test (RFT), revealing consistently high pass rates among both ground close combat (GCC) and non-ground close combat (NON-GCC) troops since the test’s introduction.

Siobhain McDonagh, the Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, posed a question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding the number and proportion of soldiers passing, failing, or having other outcomes in the Role Fitness Test each year since its inception. McDonagh specifically inquired about the breakdown between GCC and NON-GCC troops.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Andrew Murrison, provided a detailed response, presenting data from the Army’s Personnel Policy Directorate as of May 17, 2024.

Murrison’s response outlined the annual performance of Regular and Reserve soldiers in the Role Fitness Test:

2021:

  • GCC: 469 failed, 15,479 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • NON-GCC: 615 failed, 14,617 passed, 4% failure rate, 96% pass rate
  • Total tested: 31,180

2022:

  • GCC: 458 failed, 17,381 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • NON-GCC: 1,050 failed, 32,223 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • Total tested: 51,112

2023:

  • GCC: 503 failed, 18,617 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • NON-GCC: 1,129 failed, 35,712 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • Total tested: 55,961

2024:

  • GCC: 229 failed, 8,378 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • NON-GCC: 440 failed, 15,250 passed, 3% failure rate, 97% pass rate
  • Total tested: 24,297

Murrison noted that the data, sourced from a live system, could be subject to change and might include data quality issues affecting accuracy. The figures are single service estimates based on management information rather than official statistics produced by Defence Statistics.

The Role Fitness Test (RFT) commenced for Regular Non-GCC troops in September 2021 and for Reserve Non-GCC troops in April 2022, explaining the lower test numbers in these categories for the initial year.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Dern
Dern (@guest_821475)
1 month ago

Just to elaborate, the RFT is one of two fitness tests Soldiers currently need to complete (the other being the Soldier Conditioning Review, SCR, completed every six months). The RFT consists of: A squadded weighted March, 4km carrying 40kg in 50minutes, to simulate a patrol in CEMO. A individual best effort 2km, carrying 25kg in under 15 minutes. to simulate advancing to the assault. Sprints, dropping into prone 10m repetitions for 150m (I think always forget the distance) followed by a 30m leopard crawl and another sprint. To the PTI’s timings, carrying 15kg (all further tasks are carrying 15kg). To… Read more »

rst 2001
rst 2001 (@guest_821607)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

On the whole the new test looks quite good with a decent bit of thought into it

Dern
Dern (@guest_821670)
1 month ago
Reply to  rst 2001

Indeed. Combined with tbe SCR (which isn’t strictly Pass/Fail and more designed to identify weaknesses to be rectified) I think it’s pretty decent.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_821621)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for that.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_821628)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern for the very useful info. It certainly is a very thorough process.

Dern
Dern (@guest_821671)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Only thing is it does drag. By the time you reach the 70kg dead lift you just want it to end 😂
Also if the numbers are off you can get cold waiting your turn which is not fun.

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_821826)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It seems to me the army has overcomplicated a simple fitness test I served for 24 years and we just did bft and cft and a beep test

Dern
Dern (@guest_821873)
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lee

The PFA/BFT has always been a bit of a terrible test. It only ever tested if you where a quick runner in trainers, and the AFT/CFT also became pretty irrelevant.

Now the actual fitness test is designed to replicate a deliberate assault followed by a casevac (where individual fitness counts most), while the SCR is specifically designed to monitor where your physical strengths and weaknesses lie, and provide PTI staff a chance to correct any underlying issues.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
David Lee
David Lee (@guest_822031)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

That’s fair enough I guess I still work for the army as a civil servants and I have seen some soldiers that can’t pass the hot plate in the cookhouse let alone any fitness test . When I joined the but was done in boots and lightweight trousers I never saw the point of going to trainers

Dern
Dern (@guest_822121)
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lee

I think it got changed to trainers to reduce the occurrence of MSKIs. They compensated by making the run time lower.

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_822124)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes shin splints were a common injury back then

Martin
Martin (@guest_821476)
1 month ago

why the test number 20,000 below army total personnal numbers, can not be 20,000 down graded or P7, So by those numbers 28% ish of the Army were not tested each year, or am i miss reading the figures?

Dern
Dern (@guest_821489)
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Read my above post, an RFT is a major test to run, requiring a lot of time to be set aside by both the PTI’s and tested PAX. So the 19,000 includes; anyone who is downgraded (already a big percentage). Anyone who completed a test in, for example, november or december of 2022, and when they became “red” for RFT there wasn’t another one running for a few months into 2024 (I was red on my RFT for 3-4 months waiting for my unit to run one this year), and, anyone in a pid that won’t require deploying might not… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Martin
Martin (@guest_821498)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

it this test easier than CFT/BFT/BPFA/ICFT ie why was it brought in? i always felt some test were simply brought in to get higher pass rate/ fiddle the books but saying that not having ever taken this test its after my time.

Dern
Dern (@guest_821501)
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, I litterally outlined the exact requirements for GCC’s to pass the RFT above. I’m not going to retype the entire thing.

Martin
Martin (@guest_821502)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Well done you, enjoy the afternoon.

Dern
Dern (@guest_821505)
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Grow up.

Martin
Martin (@guest_821508)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

So angry, you need a hug? i can never grow up, a bit like Peter Pan. Please get over your self and remember not ever one is one of your soldiers to boss about, some of us have done our time and can talk normally with out talking down to people.
Rank may matter in the Army not on here. Please enjoy the rest of the day. and evening.

Dern
Dern (@guest_821511)
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Wow this is pathetic. You can’t even deal with someone pointing out that the answer to your question is higher up in the thread without having a temper tantrum and trying to get personal?

As I said: Grow up. Learn to have an adult conversation. Maybe posting isn’t for you?

Martin
Martin (@guest_821503)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

really, ii was asking if it wasenjoy your day,

Stuart
Stuart (@guest_821705)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Unfortunately not, the question was are the new tests easier or harder than the old CFT ect. A subjective comparison by someone having done both types was required not a finger point to your previous statistical analyses.

Ica
Ica (@guest_821517)
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, it’s a fair question. The short answer is the standards have been lowered. The new standards have changed the mentality of troops, we are seeing a vast change in the physical robustness of soldiers as they don’t have to train hard to meet the requirements. The old method wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but most could not train for a year and still pass the SCR and RFT.

Martin
Martin (@guest_827744)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ica

That is the major issue the military has gone soft and fat because it has to to get people to join, bad idea and it will come back one day and bite. Old days were ok, hard, rough but i always thought fair.
Harder you train the better you fight, its a worry about if the Army is up to the job regardless of kit issues. I find most step up when they had to.

Bulkhead
Bulkhead (@guest_821535)
1 month ago

LMFSO 😎

Last edited 1 month ago by Bulkhead
Marked
Marked (@guest_821552)
1 month ago

Get some coverage on here of today’s story in the news about the recruit rejected due to a small chance of her carrying a gene linked to best cancer. Another example of the ridiculous excuses used to reject perfectly capable applicants that could serve well for years. And this comes at a time when recruiting is allegedly a problem! As usual its a self inflicted problem.

rst 2001
rst 2001 (@guest_821609)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Yes its daft , let the actual recruits course decide who is fit to pass . How many individuals who started out of shape over weight ,illiterate and complete belle’s became excellent soldiers and or a better version of themselves 🙂

Dern
Dern (@guest_821647)
1 month ago
Reply to  rst 2001

The problem is you occasionally get someone in who then dies of a heart condition during a training run.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_822078)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Excellent explanation Dern, thanks, it looks a useful and practical system. Identifying performance aspects that individuals need to work on or be helped with is a good approach,, both for the individual and the overall standard of army fitness.

What is a PID, don’t remember that one? Forgive me if you have already covered that.

Dern
Dern (@guest_822125)
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

Hey, no worries.
I’m afraid I don’t know what the Acronym PID is short for, but what it is: A PID is a position that a soldier can be assigned too. For example an Infantry section would have a PID for a Cpl, one for a LCpl, one for a GPMG gunner, etc.

So in this context for example: A PID that can’t deploy might be a recruiting sergeant.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822249)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks, PID was one that I too was always unsure of, but was on the right track with my assumption.

Bell
Bell (@guest_823132)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

PID, simply personnel identification.