Taste of the Army

Andrew Towne/Torrington Telegram Army SFC Kerry Wyatt talks to the Lingle-Fort Laramie students Monday morning after the PE class went through a demonstration of the Army’s new qualifying standards which will go into effect in October of 2020.

L-FL students experience new Army qualifying tests

LINGLE – Lingle-Fort Laramie High School students got a taste of what it will be like to qualify to serve in the Army.

Starting in October of 2020, the Army is implementing a new fitness test, said SSG Kari Brafford, a Master Fitness Trainer for the state of Wyoming.

SFC Kerry Wyatt, a local recruiter, was also on hand to help with the demonstrations.

“Before, we did a two-mile run, sit-ups and push-ups to measure our physical strength and endurance,” Brafford said. “The Army is now implementing the ACFT which is the Army Combat Fitness Test. It’s going from three events to now six events.”

On Monday morning, the high school PE students at L-FL got a sample of what the new requirements will look like, becoming the first school in the state to see a demonstration of the new tests.

The six events include three repetition maximum deadlift with a minimum weight of 140, maxing at 340 pounds, a standing power throw of a 10-pound medicine ball, reaching a minimum distance of 4.6 meters, a hand-release push-ups, a sprint-drag-carry, spanning five 50-meter shuttles, a leg tuck and a two-mile run.

The Army has started testing the new fitness test.

“They’ve tested 63 different battalions and other soldiers to see where any changes need to be made, but starting in 2020, Army soldiers, National Guard and Army Active will be doing this test to get into the Army,” Brafford said.

The L-FL students got to take part in the demonstrations, trying their hand at what it will be like to try to get into the Army in the future.

One of those students was senior Ty Mueller who will be leaving in May to join an infantry division in Fort Benning, Ga.

“It made me more confident, honestly,” he said. “It made it to where I’m not as scared. Everyone fears the unknown so when you go into things like this and do it, it gives you way more confidence in your ability to do things.”

Monday’s experience made him look forward to the Army even more.

“It’s all a mental game,” said Scott Gilchriest, another L-FL senior, who has yet to decide what he wants to do after high school. “I would join with all the benefits, and the physical training, I’d say, would be a fly by with me. I wouldn’t be worried about the physical part.”

But it wasn’t just the guys who tried their hands at the six events. Even some of the girls in the class got in on the action.

“It honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” junior Kalli Nichol said. “It depends on how mentally tough you are. I’m not in that great of shape, but if you go into this and if you aren’t in shape at all, you might not be able to do it. If you are mentally tough, you can do it.”


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