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.