Can I administer a “for record” APFT while deployed? (UPDATED) | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can I administer a “for record” APFT while deployed? (UPDATED)

Does a PT Test administered during deployment count as a record pt test or is it only a diagnostic?

For a PT test to count as a record PT test the Commander must specify beforehand if the test is for record. It does not matter if you are in a deployed or garrison environment. The reference for this information is AR 350-1, page:12, para: 1-24e(2) which states:

Commanders may administer the APFT as often as they wish; however, they must specify beforehand when the results are for record. The AA and Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Soldiers will take the APFT at least twice each calendar year. A minimum of 4 months will separate record tests if only two record tests are given. The intent is for the Active Army and the AGR Soldiers to take a record APFT every 6 months. Mission requirements often prevent the even spacing of record tests. Therefore, commanders are encouraged to test Soldiers for record as close to the record test window as possible.

If you are in a combat environment  ALARACT 163-2003 clearly states for Soldiers deployed and unable to take an APFT the following statement will be placed on the evaluation report.  ” Soldier was unable to take the APFT during this period due to deployment for combat operations/contingency operations.  However the lack of an APFT within the last 12 months of the thru date does not preculde comments on the Soldier’s physical condition. Thanks to READDAREG for pointing out the specific reference.

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posted on 09/07/2011 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Jeremy K

    Is there a regulation for how long you need to be in country on the deployment side before you can administer a record APFT, for instance Afghanistan with a higher elevation.

    • Mark Gerecht

      In old version of the Physical Fitness Training Manual it use to specify a 30 day Acclimatization period. However the new FM 7-22 does not specify a period.

      FM 7-22
      Soldiers may be deployed to theaters of operation that are at altitudes in excess of 3000 feet above sea level. Altitude acclimatization allows Soldiers to decrease their susceptibility to altitude illness and achieve optimal physical and cognitive performance for the altitude to which they are acclimatized. Altitude acclimatization has no negative side effects and will not harm health or physical performance upon return to low altitude. However, Soldiers with
      good aerobic endurance may acclimatize sooner and perform better than those of low fitness levels. Refer to the following website for more detailed discussion on altitude acclimatization.

      FM 7-22 also mention the following PDF for download
      Army Altitude Acclimatization Guide

      AR 350-1 states:
      1-24f(4) Environmental considerations, particularly weather and altitude, are important in planning physical training

      Did you find this information useful? We appreciate your feedback!
      Hope this helps!

  • 1SG

    You know as being a First Sergeant we aren’t here to have Soldiers fail but to groom them and look out for their overall well being. As stated in AR 350-1 a Soldier will be administered a record APFT no earlier than 90 after redeployment. Let’s look at the 1st 90 days of redeployment. you figure you have 7 day of reintegration and then the official block leave which a 99.9% take up to 30 days, then back to the regular day to day activities of garrison operations. It’s really setting the Soldier up! That’s why it’s recommended that a Soldier takes a record prior to redeployment so that the Soldier meets the standard of AR 350-1 and give a Soldier another 3 months of a buffer with the 2x a year requirement. Unless your in harms way…and come on let’s take a real look at it…if your on a FOB that has more civilian contractors with all the facilities like Green Beans and BK/ MC’d’s and so forth there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to take an APFT prior to redeployment. On the other hand if your constantly on missions out side the wire than yeah recoup and get back into the PT mind frame. BLUF take ownership in what you do, after all every place that i’ve been to from being on the MiTT in bum”F” egypt to being on a decent FOB being physically fit was never an issue….

  • Readdareg

    It clearly states that ALARACT 163-2003, its gives the Army guidance to the force on handling APFT during and post deployment. I personnally was was must challenged by the tasking of fighting an insurgency that APFT did not rate on list of activities to enforce.

  • Molly

    So I’m currently in Kandahar and my company made me take a PT test this morning. I’ve been doing PT on my own so for the 1st time in my military career I maxed my PT Test scoring 316. After I took the PT test I asked my PLT SGT for the copy to take it to S1. His response to me was that it was only a diag and it cannot be count as a record. Before taking the APFT none of the NCOs said anything about being a diag or a record APFT. On my last developmental counseling my NCO talks about my last record test and states that he was expecting a 290, possibly a 300. One of the NCOs from my company had to take a PT test for his NCOER and they counted that one as a record. Don’t know what to do. I feel like Im being discriminated probably bc of my gender, my nationality, my accent and my age. How can I fight this double standard situation?

    • SGT Fink

      The regulation makes no remark as to diagnostic testing. Technically, every APFT recorded on a DA 705 is for record unless within a profile recovery time frame. This will bite some people in the butt. There is no extended scale by the regulation (TC 3-22.20) as well. The APFT also requires a specific number of administrators and support personel to be “offical”, this means that half the APFTs I have seen in the Army are not offical.

      • Mark Gerecht

        SGT Fink, I will have to respectfully disagree with your assessment. AR 350-1 para 1-24 states: Commanders may administer the APFT as often as they wish; however, they must specify beforehand when the results are for record. The AA and Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Soldiers will take the APFT at least twice each calendar year. A minimum of 4 months will separate record tests if only two record tests are given. The intent is for the Active Army and the AGR Soldiers to take a record APFT every 6 months. Therefore since they must state it is a record prior to the test…this mean any test given in which the Soldier is not informed that the test is a record is therefore diagnostic in nature. Other factors that influence the test qualifying as a record test are: the test must be completed within 2 hours from start to finish and Soldiers may only be allowed to rest a minimum of 10 mins but no more than 20 mins between events. TC 3.22-20 also states in Fig 5-2 item: APFT: IAW AR 350-1 the APFT will be administered for record at least twice a year…but keep in mind at least a 4 month separation is required between test. The minimum number of personnel required for administering an APFT per TC 3.22-20 is 4 personnel, SEE TC3.22.20 A-4. I hope this clarifies the issue. Best Wishes TOP

    • SGT NICK

      I don’t get to the same conclusion you do about the discrimination part, the vast majority of PT tests I have taken have been Diag and not record. Nevertheless I am able to score a 90 in each event minimum every time some 290’s some 300. PT is an everyday part of life, technically PT tests are good for one year but most units do one every six months. Your COC deciding to take a diagnostic PT test on KAF for the first test is something I agree with. Afghanistan and especially RC-South has high elevation an almost unbearable amount of dust in the air that can slow down PT performances. Just know this I would push for a COA for getting a 300 when you do take a record one. Get the memo to wear the patch too.-Hope this helps!

  • Ricky

    What about taking an APFT run on an active landing pad? I have been briefed that “If a helicopter is coming just run faster.” Is it legal to take a record in that condition?

    • Preston

      This sounds like a pretty significant safety concern to me, but I can’t comment on the legality of the issue.

      Perhaps somebody can take shot at this one from a regulatory point of view?

    • Part-Time-Commander

      Any commander that makes you do that is an idiot! Whoever is giving a PT test has to do a risk assessment. I can’t envision anyone signing off on a risk assessment with helicopters potentially landing in the running area while Soldiers are doing the APFT. That would be a bad career move and bad leadership decision.


  • Jesse

    Can the commander state that your APFT while deployed will be conducted on a treadmill? I can’t seem to find anywhere in black and white that says no treadmills for APFT

    • Mark Gerecht

      Great question! The regulatory answer is “No” the event cannot be modified. Let’s look at this from

      A Regulatory and Doctrine perspective:

      See TC 3-22.20 Appendix A. Specifically:
      TEST SITE PAges A-3 and A-4
      A-16. The OIC and NCOIC should select a test site that is flat and free of debris. The test site should have the following:
       A site that is free of any significant hazards.
       A briefing area for the reading of event instructions.
       A preparation area (can be same as briefing area).
       A soft, flat, dry area for push-ups and sit-ups.
       A flat, measure 2-mile running course with a solid surface that is nor more than 3 percent grade.
      A-17. Sound judgment must be used in the selection of a 2-mile run course. There is no requirement to survey 2-mile run courses. However, selected test sites should be free of significant hazards such as traffic, slippery road surfaces, and areas where heavy pollution is present. Running tracks may be used to administer the 2-mile run event. If a 400-meter track is used, the OIC/NCOIC must add an additional 61 feet, 4 inches to the standard 8 laps to ensure the test’s required 2-mile distance is covered. One lap on a 400-meter track is 92 inches shorter than one lap on a 440-yard track. Eight laps on a 400-meter track is 736 inches shorter than eight laps (2 miles) on a 440-yard tack. Therefore, Soldiers running on a 400-meter track must run an additional 61 feet, 4 inches.

      APFT FACILITIES Pages A-10 and A-11
      A-33. The following facilities are required for administration of the APFT:
       Designated area for preparation and recovery.
       One test station (6 feet wide by 15 feet deep) for every 8 Soldiers participating in the push-up and sit-up events.
       A measured 2-mile run course.

      AR 350–1, page 13

      Para 11-3b states
      “Upon return from deploy­ment Soldiers will be admin­is­tered a record APFT no ear­lier than three months for AA and six months for Reserve Component Soldiers.”

      Now let’s talk risk mitigation and consequences.
      Risk Mitigation: I imagine your Commander is doing his/her best to comply with a requirement to ensure everyone is tested IAW AR 350-1 while you are deployed so that everyone meets the requirements and Soldiers do not suffer from loss of promotion status, etc while deployed. If you are deployed in an area in which you cannot safely execute a 2 mile run for security reasons or perhaps just the physical location the command may believe the treadmill is the best option. TC 3-22.20 Test Site Requirements even uses the Key word should meaning the commander might have some room to move on this issue. However APFT Facilities pages A10-11 state a measured 2 mile run course. I believe the spirit of the requirement is that the area be a 2 mile area not a treadmill.

      Now to Consequences.
      Let’s say everyone passes their APFT on a treadmill…there are no arguements and everyone goes away happy. Should one person fail and the command team attempt to flag the Soldier or process for separation I believe there will be a rude awakening as the test standards are violated and therefore the test is not valid. For example: When a Soldier executes sit-ups his entire body must be on the mat. If his entire body is not on the mat the repetition does not count. If the regulation is this specific about a mat….running on a treadmill would be such a reasonable departure from the testing standard that I do not believe any reasonable leader would allow a Soldier to be penalized for failing a test on the treadmill.

      Leaders Perspective

      Let’s look at this from the Boss’s point of view. I bet he/she is just trying to do the best they can in the situation they are in. Nothing personal is going on. Perhaps the commander wants to ensure every Soldier is good to go on all test standards, perhaps he just wants to look good to his boss, , perhaps he is taking heat from BN about not testing, maybe he wants to ensure that all Soldier receive their promotion points and promotion status is not harmed. I think there are waivers for the promotion aspect. So the bottom line is he only has a treadmill to work with how does he proceed? One wait until the unit is in a location that affords the Soldier the opportunity to take the test to standard, not complete the test until you return from deployment IAW AR 350-1, or conduct the test in a manner that is not enforceable. This is the commanders call but he must also be prepared to deal with the consequences, embarrassment, and other issues that arise should a Soldier fail the APFT and the Soldier challenges the Flag and/or Separation. This will also call into question the commanders integrity since the test is not to standard he would be allowing Soldiers to obtaining points or qualification for a test that is not approved. This is where being a leader is not a black and white decision. He must decide what is best for his unit, what decision can he live with, what decision can he defend to his superiors if called to do so? I do admire your commander’s willingness to think outside the box given the unit’s lack of resources but he must be prepared for all unintended consequences

      When you consider the spirit in which TC 3-22-20 is written and the specific statement of AR 350-1 with regard to APFT Testing, it is clear to me in my professional opinion modfying the APFT would not be enforceable. That’s why the Army allows tolerance for APFT test to be slightly out of date in most cases with regard to Promotions and Schooling (If memory serves me correctly). If your commander wanted to modify the test and be confident in his decision to modify the test he should contact the local JAG office to obtain their support because JAG will have to defend a decision to flag, bar, or separate a Soldier for failing a Non Standard APFT. In addtion it might be appropriate for your commander to make a request to the proponent of TC 3.22.20 and AR 350-1 with regard to APFT testing while deployed. Perhaps the proponent would agree and authorize the treadmill as an alternative method for deployments or in-climate weather.

      Did this information answer your question? We appreciate your feedback!

      • SGT Jesse

        Thankyou very much. That does answer my question. We’re currently located above 8000 feet, and the only option for a APFT is treadmill, due to enemy action/presence in our area. Allthough I did not fail the APFT on the treadmill, I was worried about the possible affect it would have on my Promotable status if I did fail it. I’m sure the command would just make me re-take the APFT a few days later, and continue to do that until I passed. Our base is not large enough like BAF to have a road course that we can run on, as our camp is very very small.

      • SGT NICK

        Wow I am shocked that this was brought up, I have never had to take a pt test that included a run at a FOB or COP. Usually what we did was shady as well but it was fair they took the average of both the push ups and sit ups to determine how many points you got on the aerobic event. This is actually not shady if you take any of the alternate events and pass it is 60 points for a PT Test for record, so you could max a PT test for record at 260. IF you are taking a pt test for promotion points then the walk/bike/swim event is the average between the first two events. Meaning you could possibly get a 300 if you received a 100 on the first two events. Most units cannot comprehend 350-1 as it clearly states no pt test for record can go over 260 if you take an alternate event. Only for promotion points can the average between the first two events apply.

  • Adam Chappell

    You have to take the regulation in full, not just in part. While commanders may administer an APFT anytime they desire, as long as it is stated for record, there are other stipulations for profiles, deployments, etc.
    AR 350-1, page 13
    Para 11-3b states
    “Upon return from deployment Soldiers will be administered a record APFT no earlier than three months for AA and six months for Reserve Component Soldiers.”

    • Mark Gerecht

      Agreed, good point. There is also nothing that prevents the commander from administering the APFT while deployed. Conditions during deployments can vary widely and some locations afford enough predictability during the duty and also provide a safe environment to facilitate APFT testing.

      Para 11-3b provides the Soldier protection from unnecessary hardship as a result of returning from a deployment in which conditions did not provide adequate time,conditions, or safety for physical training. It also allows Soldiers to acclimatize, improve endurance, etc so that they can take the APFT in a safe manner without increased risk of injury.

      • Quentin

        I guess what’s also being asked is can there be any adverse actions taken out on a soldier by not passing the apft while deployed.

      • Mark Gerecht

        There is nothing to prevent a Soldier from being flagged in a deployed environment. With that stated it also depends on the conditions and environment the Soldier is in. If the Soldier is involved in combat operations…I don’t think the focus of the command is going to be on administering an APFT they have latitude on this while deployed. For example a Soldier in Afghanistan most likely will not take a PT test while a Soldier deployed to Kuwait might.

      • Justin Steppig

        Hello, im Deployed to Afghan and our commander and first SGT are making use do remedial PT cause we didnt pass one while in afghan. our 1ST SGT didnt even pass but yet he makes us do it. we have to do a min. of 100 pushups 100 situps and 3 miles 4 days a week AND do missions. since they put me on this ive gotten worse, what can I do?

      • SGT NICK


        Its tough to stay in shape down range but you must find time for it. Most people fall behind on running because most bases do not have tracks or reliable running machines only free weights. Something is better than nothing. At the rate your going you could get injured, if that happens then you would need a profile. A running profile could give you a break but do not use it as a crutch, make time to get on the elliptical or bike machines to get your HR up until you make a full recovery.

        Confronting your 1SG about the remedial PT plan will most likely be unsuccessful, but thats just my opinion.

        “Any opin­ions expressed in this arti­cle are solely those of the author and do not nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sent those of the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.”

      • Justin Steppig

        SGT Nick, ive been working out since ive been here, doing my own PT and i went from a very shitty PT score in the 200’s and missing the run by 8 sec, ive lost 50 pounds in 5.5 months and changed my eating diet. and after they put me on the remedial PT ive gotten worse. i changed my eating diet and lost 6.5 in on the neck and dont know what more they want. and when we have to do the PT test there a min of 30 speed bumps. in 1 mile lap. they are tell us that they have to be record PT scores here and i was told no. i dont know whats true?

    • SGT NICK

      I have already taken two PT test for record at Bagram Airfield. This base supports it and the 90 day period applies when you arrive at another country as well. Let’s get to the main point of why people are worried about taking a PT test down range.

      Most units do not perform organized PT in deployed countries but units may require you to pass a PT test every 180 days. This takes strong individual discipline and motivation to do PT on your personal time in which many will not do. Either way passing a PT test is a individual event and you must take care of your body at all times including while on leave and deployed.

      • Part-Time-Commander

        Good point SGT Nick!

        PT is an individual responsibility! Soldiers need to maintain their fitness 24/7/365. No excuses. Even on deployments there is plenty of downtime to work out, if it is a priority for you.

        You can either make excuses for not doing PT, or you can cowboy up and be a leader who makes time for it.

        Just my two cents.

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