NEWS | Sept. 14, 2021

Army Wellness Center provides resources for Army Combat Fitness Test preparation

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A new pilot program through the Army Wellness Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is helping servicemembers preparing to take the Army Combat Fitness Test.

The Performance and Readiness Exercise Program, or PREP, provides instruction and training to Soldiers on the six exercises and skills they will need to pass the Army Combat Fitness Test, said Patrice Hickey, Army Wellness Center director.

Hickey said PREP allows servicemembers to get one on one instruction with an Army Wellness Center health educator on proper training and techniques on the exercises and skills they are expected to perform on the test.

“We’ve created a new pilot program where we are focusing on the movement patterns that are associated with each one of the six different components (exercises) of the new Army Combat Fitness Test,” Hickey said. “That’s going to allow us to really provide you with specific information about the movement of those six different components to this new assessment (test).”

The six exercises servicemembers need to perform to pass the Army Combat Fitness Test include the three rep max deadlift, throwing a 10-pound ball overhead, a pushup that involves dropping to the ground and extending the arms out to the side, sprint drag carry, leg tuck and a timed two-mile run.

Through the Army Combat Fitness Test, the Army is changing the standards for how it tests the physical preparedness of its servicemembers. The test utilizes exercises and skills Soldiers will need to utilize in a combat setting. The Army Combat Fitness Test replaces the Army Physical Fitness Test, which tested servicemembers on general fitness standards such as muscle and aerobic endurance.

By utilizing the PREP resource, Hickey said health educators are able to properly access what improvements and adjustments servicemembers need to make in their techniques and exercise plans to prepare and perform well on the Army Combat Fitness Test.

“If there are questions or concerns about their ability to execute those movement patterns,” Hickey said, “we are able to break them down and let them see what they need to be doing in their day to day exercise plan to get them better at performing those movements when it comes test time.”

Hickey said the PREP program is a collaborative effort between the Army Wellness Center and students of the Army-Baylor University Doctoral in Physical Therapy Program at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, or MEDCoE, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, who helped to develop the program.

“We collaborated with them to ensure we have the right type of injury prevention techniques in the programming we are doing,” Hickey said.

The Army Wellness Center is focused on improving the physical and mental health of individuals by following a holistic approach, providing resources and programs that consider a person’s physical, psychological and social circumstances.

Additional resources and programs include body composition assessments, metabolic testing, exercise testing, individual stress management techniques and individual health coaching. Classes focusing on nutrition, health, stress management and wellness are offered at the Army Wellness Center.

Hickey said the resources and programs at the center cover the five facets of the Army’s holistic health and fitness approach, including physical, sleep activity, nutrition, mental and spiritual resiliencies.

By utilizing some or all of the resources offered by the Army Wellness Center, servicemembers can be well prepared both physically and mentally for the Army Combat Fitness Test, said Hickey.

“All of those things can really help to give a soldier a really well-rounded picture of where they are from a baseline measurement standpoint and it allows the health educators to really provide them with custom programming to get them to where they need to go,” Hickey said.

Resources and programs at the Army Wellness Center are open to all JBSA members of all services, including active-duty, dependents, retirees and Department of Defense civilians.

For more information on utilizing resources and programs at the Army Wellness Center, contact the center at 210-539-1254 or go to https://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Resiliency/JBSAArmyWellnessCenterServices/.

The Army Wellness Center accepts self-referrals, referrals by a unit or command or referrals by a healthcare provider. It is located inside the Vogel Resiliency Center at 2490 Stanley Road, building 367, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, next to the post office.

Servicemembers can find information about preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test at  https://sites.google.com/view/awcprep/home.