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Army approves APFT exception for specialists and corporals

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army announced today a new policy allowing all Soldiers in the ranks of corporal and specialist the option to take the Army Physical Fitness Test as the service transitions to the Army Combat Fitness Test. This will provide corporals and specialists (E-4s) another option to qualify for, or increase their opportunity for, promotion or other personnel or administrative requirements.

The Army found that a small number – fewer than 5,500 – of E-4s did not have a fitness test of record on file, rendering them ineligible for promotion to sergeant.

Instead of providing special authorization for this small group to take the APFT, Army senior leaders determined the equitable solution would be to offer all specialists and corporals across the force the choice to voluntarily take the APFT, effective immediately.

“The Army Combat Fitness Test is still on track for full implementation in April 2022,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston. “During the transition, it’s important that we’re not limiting the careers of Soldiers who have never taken a physical fitness test of record.”

This policy will allow Soldiers to continue their career advancement while the Army transitions to the ACFT. Army Directive 2021-14 contains the full policy, including the following key points:

  • All E-4s are authorized to take the APFT to qualify for or increase their opportunity for promotion.
  • E-4s who take the APFT and fail will not face adverse administrative action.
  • E-4s without a fitness test of record who choose not to take the APFT will not be penalized; however, they will remain ineligible for promotion consideration and counseled on the effects of not taking it.
  • E-4s who are deployed or are on a pregnancy/postpartum profile, and who do not have a fitness test of record, will be temporarily granted a minimum passing APFT score (60 points per event) and will be eligible for promotion consideration.

“This policy gives our Soldiers the ability to make themselves eligible for promotion and stay on track with their careers,” said Grinston.

For more information, contact Lt. Col. Junel Jeffrey, HQDA G-1 Public Affairs Officer, at [email protected], or Hank Minitrez, Deputy G-1 PAO, at [email protected]

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