March 7, 2012

Ranger Physical Assesment Test (RPAT)

Another aspect of SOF units that has been overhauled in recent years is Physical Training.  In the past, the habit was the run and ruckmarch soldiers to death, but today, it seems as if smarter approaches are prevailing in the 75th Ranger Regiment as well as among individual Special Forces ODAs with the emphasis being on building functional strength and endurance relevant to actual combat operations.

We had a Regimental Sergeant Major in the 75th who came back to the Rangers after a long stint in Delta Force.  He was a big part of the modernization of the Ranger Battalions.  I remember one of the numerous e-mails that he would send down to us in which he rightly said that our job isn’t to be a marathon runner, a jiu jistu expert, or a body builder.  Our job was to be Rangers, and that means PT should be combat focused.


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About the Author

is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group. Having left the military in 2010, he graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, Direct Action, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • kfmagnum

    Oh man this sounds like some good old fashioned fun.

  • CIGARsmoke

    cmw237 Sounds horrible for your knees

  • LeverAction

    Jack, this man likes your writing, but whoever chose the associated JPEG for this article is effing genius. Made me laugh out loud.

  • Robert_k_1986

    Man Col. Odom was the commander of my unit back in Alaska before taking over the 75th.  He had us do this CAV Fit test.  http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/1-40cav.htm  theres a link to the entire thing. 

  • cmw237

    Some of my favorite PT actually occurred at DLI (long before 9/11 & GWOT) - we ran the obstacle course carrying a litter full of sandbags.