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New APFT Guidance for SPC/CPL E-4’s Only

Army HRC released updated APFT guidance for SPC/CPL only to clarify how the transition from APFT to ACFT should not negatively impact promotion to SGT E-5.

Army Directive 2021-14, Army Physical Fitness Test Guidance for SPC/CPL only allows these soldiers to volunteer to take the APFT to qualify for or increase their opportunity for promotion or other personnel requirements.

This updated APFT guidance applies to the Regular Army, Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and U.S. Army Reserve.

If you’re caught in the middle of transitioning from the APFT to ACFT from a promotion to SGT perspective, it’s very important that you understand all of your options.  Take advantage of your opportunity to increase your promotion points. It can literally mean the difference between getting promoted soon, or being forced to wait.

If you can better your current APFT score, then do it.  There is no real risk of not trying because the language in AD 2021-14 is favorable and on your side.

Background

The ACFT replaced the APFT as the Army’s physical fitness test of record on 1 October 2020.

The transition to the ACFT should not adversely affect any Soldier or group. To accomplish this, the Army will continue to collect performance data and assess standards and requirements to ensure that the ACFT, when fully implemented, best meets the needs of the Army and our Soldiers.

During this assessment period, E-4s will be provided the opportunity to take the APFT. This allows those Soldiers an equal opportunity to compete for promotions and other personnel or administrative actions. Commanders will ensure that the application of Army Directive 2021-14 does not delay or impede ACFT training, testing, and the recording of test data required during the transition.

Policy Update

A. All E-4s are authorized to take the APFT during the transition to the ACFT to qualify for or increase their opportunity for promotion or other personnel or administrative requirements. The authority to approve or deny requests is the first commander in the chain of command. Commanders should grant requests from Soldiers to take the APFT unless doing so will pose a safety risk, impede mission requirements, or delay collection of ACFT data.

(1) Soldiers without a recorded APFT score in the Army’s Digital Training Management System (DTMS) who volunteer to take the APFT pursuant to this directive, and who fail to pass the APFT, will not be subject to adverse administrative actions (such as suspension of favorable actions (flag), initiation of administrative separation, or derogatory/referred evaluation reports). However, without a passing APFT, they continue to be ineligible for any previously established personnel/administrative requirements, such as promotion.

(2) Soldiers with a recorded passing APFT score in the DTMS who volunteer to take the APFT pursuant to Army Directive 2021-14 in an attempt to improve their score, and who fail or do worse on the APFT, will retain their former higher score in the DTMS for meeting personnel/administrative requirements. They will not be subject to adverse administrative actions (such as suspension of favorable actions (flag), initiation of administrative separation, or derogatory/referred evaluation reports). Commanders will implement internal processing procedures to ensure that higher APFT scores are retained in DTMS.

(3) Unit leaders will not force or pressure Soldiers to take the APFT. Commanders will counsel, in writing, those Soldiers without a record fitness test in DTMS who elect not to take the APFT. The counseling will advise Soldiers on the effects of not taking the APFT.

(4) Commanders will temporarily grant a minimum passing APFT score (60 points per event) to those E-4s who do not have a record APFT score in the DTMS and are unable to take an APFT due to deployment or a pregnancy/postpartum profile. This minimum passing score will remain valid only until the Soldier is able to take the APFT.

B.  Army Directive 2021-14 is effective until rescinded or superseded by subsequent Army policy.

This post includes an extract of AD 2021-14. You can download the entire Army Directive 2021-14 here.