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    Gender Neutral Standards, Return to Old Fitness Test: Congress’ Dueling Ideas for the Army

    Gender Neutral Standards, Return to Old Fitness Test: Congress' Dueling Ideas for the Army

    Both chambers of Congress have competing ideas to reinvent the 's fitness test, an ongoing effort by legislators to alter fitness standards for the service that only last year received their first major update in decades.

    As part of the draft of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act, or , which directs policy and funds the Pentagon, the House Armed Services Committee introduced an amendment for the Army to implement gender-neutral standards for soldiers serving in combat arms.

    It's a move that Army senior leaders and the rank and file would likely welcome. Some service planners behind the scenes were unhappy with the introduction of the Army Combat Fitness Test, or , last year, which ended up having different standards for men and women. Others argue grading women on the same scale as men while relying on those scores for promotions would be unfair.

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    Army planners were already looking into adjusting standards for combat jobs, including gender-neutral standards. One service official told, on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, that one idea was adjusting minimum passing standards for frontline roles, making the current pass rate for 17- to 21-year-old men the blanket minimum for men and women in combat arms.

    The job codes that would see higher and gender-neutral ACFT…

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