SALINA, Kan. – Sixteen Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery Regiment, 130th Field Artillery Brigade, trained to be the Kansas Army National Guard's newest validated graders for the Army Combat Fitness Test August 4-5 at Great Plains Joint Training Center to be in Salina.
In addition to training and certifying students on how to conduct and grading the ACFT, which will become the Army's official physical fitness test on October 1, the leaders and instructors hope the course will help keep a shift going to put in the fitness culture of the Kansas Army National Guard.
"This is a trainer's trainer course," said Command Sgt. Major Darrian Campbell, Command Sergeant Major of 1st Bn, 161st FA Regt. "The general intent is for soldiers to return to their units and train other people on how to rate soldiers who take the test. This is a new test, this is new to the Army, and there are certain training and requirements that you must meet in order to manage, monitor and evaluate it. "
Staff Sgt. Bronson Shipman, master fitness instructor and sergeant for the ACFT project for the state of Kansas, stated that students must complete all six ACFT events as well as a list of other assignments in order to be certified as graders.
"We go through each event individually and specifically so students know what to look for to prevent injury and to know what will count rather than repeat," said Shipman.
Students also learn how to set up the course lanes and take a counterfeit ACFT where instructors take the test and grade students.
The two-day training ends with a written exam at the end.
t only does Campbell teach students all of the technical details needed to take the test and train other students, but he also hopes the course teaches students not to be intimidated by the ACFT.
"I know there is a lot of talk," said Campbell. "People say," This will shut me out. "" I need to get out. "It's going to be too difficult." "I can not." But I think these are mostly people watching from the sidelines. I think once you get involved you will see that you can do these exercises very well. "
Shipman also confirmed that many soldiers have expressed concern about the new test.
"I hope students take away the idea that this test is achievable," Shipman said. “And that they also return to their units with a positive attitude towards the test. The test is currently very negative. It is our job to change that attitude and have a more positive attitude. So if these students could go back and look, the test isn't that bad. I'll show you how to do it. That is the main thing. We didn't just try to get them in a little more shape. "
While Shipman and his team of master trainers have the primary goal of getting Soldiers on the road to success by October 1, they also hope to transform the fitness culture in the Kansas Army National Guard.
"As civil servants, it's easy to get into a sedentary lifestyle because we don't wear uniform 28 days a month," Shipman said. “We all need to change our mindsets and focus more on fitness. We have to start training. "
Shipman explained that the current test, the Army Physical Fitness Test, can often be passed by soldiers who only exercise at the last minute – the APFT did not require them to maintain high levels of physical fitness year round. But he warns soldiers that this strategy will not be effective if they hope to succeed on the ACFT.
"Start training now," Shipman said. “Go out and do some research on what the test is and work on these events individually. That way, you'll know what to work on to get better. Be ready."
In addition to steadily increasing physical fitness, Shipman said the ACFT has the added benefit of increasing soldiers' general readiness by reducing injuries.
"The ACFT is an 80 percent predictor of a soldier's ability to do their job during combat. If they can successfully pass the ACFT, they will do their job successfully, helping to prevent injuries they might suffer." so Shipman said.
While the responsibility for proper training and passing the ACFT is individual, the unit leaders also play a role.
"As a sergeant major in battalion command, I want to make sure I'm trained – that I know the test and the standards – because I will be the one who will be responsible for enforcing those standards," Campbell said. “I'm out here because I want to experience it and find out about it, but I also want the soldiers to look up and see that the command is backing it, and I want to show that it is important for the armed forces to stay our lethality. "
Shipman agreed that leadership can play a role in shaping the organization's fitness culture and suggested that units consider adding physical exercise to their monthly training plans.
"These two days may not drastically change a soldier's physical fitness, but it will teach that soldier what he or she can do when they are not drilling to be in better shape," Shipman said.
Shipman, who has trained over 60 graders to date and administered the ACFT for over 400 Soldiers across the state, said physical fitness has been a prominent part of his life since he graduated from basic training at the age of 19. Later this month, he will complete his personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and plans to continue his full-time stint as a master fitness trainer for the Kansas Army National Guard to help Soldiers achieve their fitness goals with the advent of the ACFT and the advent of the ACFT Furthermore.
"It's an honor to be a part of it," Shipman said. "It's a big transition for the army as a whole. So it's a good feeling to be on the front lines." We get a good overview of what we are like as Guardians and where we are in the state in terms of our physical fitness skills. It was an eye opener for some of the soldiers. But getting them to actually take the test helps them realize that it is not insurmountable. "
|Recording date:||April 8th, 2020|
|Release Date:||11/08/2020 13:51|
|Place:||SALINA, KS, USA|
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