After a rigorous assessment and selection process that lasted two days, the Army Warrior Fitness Team has filled its ranks with 15 members. The eight men and seven women come from across the Army and ranks. The primary objective of the team will be recruiting, while helping soldiers who are currently serving to improve their physical conditioning as a secondary objective.

“It’s a dream come to true to be able to combine performing, competing, being an athlete and representing the Army to America,” Capt. Deanna Clegg told the Army Times. Captain Clegg is a 28-year-old logistics officer with the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade. “Being a part of a team like this will allow me to further grow and develop as a leader, as well as give me more confidence working with large groups of people in a public setting.”

First Sgt. Glenn Grabbs, the team’s Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC), said they were looking for far more than above-average physical fitness. As with all military demonstration teams, such as the Golden Knights or the Leap Frogs, respectively the Army’s and Navy’s parachute demonstration teams, superb communication skills are essential. “Beyond the physical abilities of each soldier, we interviewed to identify well-developed communication and social skills,” said 1st Sgt. Grabbs. “We asked each person to present themselves and tell us their Army story as if we knew nothing about the Army and who they were. We wanted to see if they were prepared to engage the public, not just in discussions about fitness, but who they are and why they serve.” This focus on good communication skills stems from the fact the team will essentially be serving as a recruiting tool.

Another selectee, Staff Sgt. Neil French, is serving as an intelligence analyst in South Korea. He emphasized the importance of intense workout regimes, such as CrossFit, on a successful military career: “Even before I joined the Army, I was a CrossFit coach, and I loved helping people train and get better. Being able to be a part of this team, I’ll be able to skyrocket my abilities and help recruit for the Army and show what we have to offer.”

Aside from organizing and leading group workouts throughout the country, the Army Warrior Fitness Team will be posting daily workouts, recovery exercises, injury prevention advice, and general fitness and nutrition tips through social media and streaming platforms.

The Army has just begun implementing its new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) which will replace the outdated Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) sometime in 2020. The ACFT is gender- and age-neutral and will follow this pattern:

  • Three repetition deadlift (120-420 pounds depending on soldier).
  • Two minutes rest.
  • Standing power throw of a 10-pound medicine ball. Soldiers will have to toss the ball overhead and backwards. They will get one practice and two graded attempts.
  • Two minutes rest.
  • Hand-release push-ups. Soldiers will have to touch the floor with their chest and lift their hands between each repetition. They will have three minutes to perform as many repetitions as possible.
  • Two minutes rest.
  • Sprint/sled-drag/carry. Soldiers will have four minutes to complete five repetitions of 25-meter sprints out and 25-meter sprints back. Each attempt will vary, with either sprinting, sled-dragging, lateral shuffle, or a sprinting farmer’s walk with two 40-pound kettle bells.
  • Two minutes rest.
  • As many kip-ups as possible in two minutes.
  • Five minutes rest.
  • Two-mile run.

The ACFT is geared toward producing soldiers who would be effective in a combat environment.