By Ray Starmann
General Dick Cavazos used to say that the Army was composed of three types of soldiers: killers, fillers and fodder.
Cavazos was a living legend on active duty. An infantry officer and combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice for extraordinary heroism in action.
“In 1976, Cavazos became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army. In 1980, he became commander of III Corps — and is recognized for his innovative leadership of the Corps.”
“In 1982, Cavazos again made military history by being appointed the Army’s first Hispanic four-star general. The same year, Cavazos assumed command of the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His early support for the National Training Center and his involvement in the development of the Battle Command Training Program enormously influenced the war fighting capabilities of the U.S. Army.”
“On June 17, 1984, after 33 years of distinguished service, General Cavazos retired from the U.S. Army.”
During the 1970’s, Cavazos was one of the men who rebuilt the US Army into the spectacular force that won Gulf War I.
I had the honor to meet General Cavazos during a sub-zero field exercise in Germany back in 1992, where he was evaluating US Army Europe combat units in the field. Besides being a fountain of Army knowledge, he was a heck of nice guy.
General Cavazos was a real warrior, the kind of general vastly absent from the Army now. Now doubt, during his last days in October of 2017, he was shaking his head at how an Army he helped rebuild into a super force has been reduced to ashes, not by a foreign enemy (although that’s coming) but by the forces of SJW’s, Obama holdouts, PC feather merchants and feminist fools.
If the Army in 2018 didn’t have enough problems, it is apparently, fat and getting fatter.
According to a recent column on Military.com:
Officials from U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command said they are working to fundamentally change the culture of fitness within the Army. Their efforts will impact everyone from the nation’s newest recruits to its longest-serving soldiers.
Outside of the military, officials are tackling an even greater fitness challenge with what some have called a “looming national security crisis” caused by a lack of fitness in America’s youth.
Apparently, some dinosaur up at TRADOC realizes that the Army’s culture isn’t about warfighting anymore, but about placating left wing radicals.
Combine a candyass, PC mentality with incoming obese Millennials falling all over your Basic Training Area of Operations and you are in a world of sh*t.
In the Army, the driving force behind the changes is a need to improve readiness.
You mean actually preparing to fight wars, as opposed to having ROTC cadets parade around in red high heels?
More than 100,000 soldiers are unable to deploy, officials said. For a large percentage of those soldiers, it is due to injuries sustained during training.
Think about that…100,000 US Army troopers who can’t deploy, many due to training injuries. Since most of the Army’s training ain’t exactly summer camp with Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in 1966, what the article is really saying is that one, the Army’s soldiers are out of shape and two, the Army is now flooded with females who are walking stress fractures waiting to happen.
The Army is now developing a replacement for the Army Physical Fitness Test, while also working to introduce new standards for recruits and revamp training at the start of military careers. Officials are developing new doctrine, regulations and policies related to physical fitness.
Under the new test, job specialties are divided into three physical demand categories: Heavy (Black), Significant (Gray), Moderate (Gold).
The test will be administered to everyone coming into the service — officer, enlisted, active, Reserve and National Guard, he said. It will be administered by any command responsible for soldier accessions, including Recruiting Command and U.S. Army Cadet Command after the soldier swears in but before he or she begins training.
“OPAT is not designed to turn away or weed out people from the Army,” said Brian Sutton, a spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. “It is designed to put the right people in the right jobs and to ensure we keep our recruits safe while doing so.”
The scoring is “gender neutral. All soldiers, male and female, must pass the same physical standards for the desired career field,” he added.
The scoring will be gender neutral, because a battlefield is gender neutral, where everyone will get a body bag in the new Army.
OPAT measures muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, explosive power and speed. It consists of four individual tests:
- The “Standing Long Jump” is designed to assess lower-body power. Participants stand behind a take-off line with their feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. They jump as far as possible.
- The “Seated Power Throw” is designed to assess upper-body power. Participants sit on the floor with their lower back against a yoga block and upper back against a wall. They hold a 4.4-pound medicine ball with both hands, bring the medicine ball to their chest and then push or throw the medicine ball upward and outward at an approximate 45-degree angle. The throw is scored from the wall to the nearest 10 centimeters from where the ball first contacts the ground.
- The “Strength Deadlift” is designed to assess lower-body strength. Participants stand inside a hex-bar and perform practice lifts to assure good technique. Then they begin a sequence of lifts starting with 120 pounds, and working up to 220 pounds.
- The “Interval Aerobic Run,” always performed last, is designed to assess aerobic capacity. The evaluation involves running “shuttles” or laps between two designated points that are spaced 20 meters apart. The running pace is synchronized with “beeps,” produced by a loudspeaker, at specific intervals. As the test progresses, the time between beeps gets shorter, requiring recruits to run faster in order to complete the shuttle. Participants are scored by the level they reach and the number of shuttles they complete.
There are three categories of fitness in the new assessment:
- “Black” for MOSs with heavy physical demands, like those of the combat arms branches that require lifting or moving 99 pounds or more. To attain Black on the OPAT, the recruit or soldier would need to attain a minimum of 5 feet, 3 inches, for the standing long jump; 14 feet, 9 inches, for the seated power throw; 160 pounds for the strength deadlift; and a 10:14 minute mile over the course of 43 shuttles.
- “Gray” for MOSs with significant physical demands that require frequent or constant lifting of 41 to 99 pounds and occasional tasks involving moving up to 100 pounds. To attain Gray on the OPAT, the recruit or soldier would need to attain a minimum of 4 feet, 7 inches, for the standing long jump; 13 feet, 1 inch, for the seated power throw; 140 pounds for the strength deadlift; and a 10:20 minute mile over the course of 40 shuttles.
- “Gold” for MOSs with moderate physical demands, such as cyber, that require frequent or constant lifting of weights up to 40 pounds or when all physical demands are occasional. To attain Gold on the OPAT, the recruit or soldier would need to attain at a minimum, 3 feet, 11 inches, for the standing long jump; 11 feet, 6 inches, for the seated power throw; 120 pounds for the strength deadlift; and, a 10:27 minute mile over the course of 36 shuttles.
When a soldier wishes to reclassify to a new MOS, from the Gray category up to the Black category, then he or she would need to take the OPAT. However, if that soldier’s new MOS falls within the same or lower-level category, the soldier will not need to take the OPAT, according to the release.
The Army can create all the new standards it wants to; the fact is these standards, like the standards at Basic Combat Training and at the Special Forces Qualification Course will be flushed down a large latrine commode to make way for our new female warriors.
The four-star commands — along with other Army organizations — are cooperating on what the Army calls its Holistic Health and Fitness initiative.
Holistic Health? “Hey, Sarge are we going to do some yoga today instead of that 5 mile run?”
“Roger that, and then we’ll all drink chai tea from the water buffalo after we carry the new 3 pound, 155mm artillery shells. Then, we’re all going to single time down to the lactation station to express some milk.”
The article from Military.com gets even better:
That initiative, years in the making, would include the creation of Soldier Performance Readiness Centers that would embed strength and conditioning coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, sports psychologists, counselors and others within combat units.
Just what the combat arms need, another distraction; physical therapists, nutritionists and sports psychologists.
In the old Army, meaning pre-Clinton era, the sports psychologist was known by his other term of endearment, Drill Sergeant, or perhaps, Command Sergeant Major.
In the old Army, the physical therapist was a medic who handed you some aspirin.
In the old Army that won wars, the nutritionist had a different name. HE was called the Mess Sergeant.
Maj. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, the commanding general for TRADOC’s Center for Initial Military Training, said the efforts amount to “a generational shift in how the U.S. Army conducts fitness.”
The Army is also developing a new test to replace the old APFT, which included having to run two miles in a certain time, and crank out a specific amount of push ups and sit ups, based on your age and gender.
Col. Mike Kirkpatrick, director of leader development at Forces Command, said too often soldiers train specifically to do well on the APFT. That can lead to overuse injuries and take up time better spent training for the rigors of combat.
So, let me get this straight; running a couple miles a day and knocking out push ups and sit ups causes injuries? How come very few people were injured training for and conducting the old APFT, Colonel? Is it because the Army wasn’t coddling people 30 and 40 years ago? Is it because the Army in 1980 didn’t look like a Girl Scout Troop?
Meanwhile, TRADOC is developing the Army Combat Readiness Test that could eventually replace the APFT. The new, six-event test is designed to gauge five components of physical fitness, including muscular and cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and explosive power. It consists of a deadlift, standing power throw, modified pushups, a sprint/drag/carry lane that simulates moving a wounded soldier or ammunition in combat, leg lifts and a two-mile run.
Well, that sounds very stylish…
The Army can create all the double speak and smoke and mirrors presentations it wants to; the fact is, the Army has a problem. Its training standards are disappearing as it scrambles to accommodate fatass, soft Millennials and women.
And yet, no one in the Pentagon seems to realize that candyasses and women don’t win wars.
Guys like General Dick Cavazos win wars and guys like General Dick Cavazos are an endangered species in the US Army.