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.

That’s probably why he invented the smoke fest known as the RPAT…

Ranger Physical Assessment Test (RPAT)

The purpose of this test is to measure all components of fitness (strength, endurance, movement skills), using tactically relevant tasks.


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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 is now working towards a degree in Political Science at Columbia University. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, the PROMIS series, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.

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  • 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.

  • Logan F Crooks

     @JackMurphyRGR The Combatives System the Rangers (and SF) are using today is SOCP (Special Operations Combatives Program), it involves making space to get to your weapon. It was featured on Deadliest Warrior (by Tim Kennedy) and is explained on Youtube by Tim Kennedy from Ranger Up. Here's the link to the official website. http://www.ussocp.com/history/socp/. I believe the SEALs are using their own Combatives System called CQD (Close Quarters Defense, also on Deadliest Warrior.