Last week, I had an opportunity to be interviewed by SGT Audrey Santana from Soldiers Radio and Television. It was great to be able to speak with her and share information on the way ahead for NCO Development. But during the course of our discussion, I realized we need to better explain the TRADOC role in support of the Army’s Soldier 2020 initiative. The Soldier 2020 initiative is all about applying standards to select the right person for the right job.
There are some major efforts going on in our Army and you might not understand how they are linked to one another. So, I would like to use this week’s blog to explain those relationships.
The first is Soldier 2020 – the total Army effort to enhance force readiness and warfighting capability by implementing a standards-based, scientific approach for verifying and evaluating MOS specific performance requirements. This will aid leadership in selecting the best qualified Soldiers for each job within the Army profession, ensuring future force capability and readiness.
TRADOC is responsible for two key efforts of the Army’s Soldier 2020 implementation plan; the physical demands study – that verified physical performance requirements in the Army’s most physically demanding combat arms occupations and led to developing a predictive physical aptitude tests for accessions; and the gender integration study – conducted to identify and understand institutional and cultural factors associated with the integration of women into previously closed positions and units.
Both were completed this past fall.
The physical demands study gave us actual, validated physical tasks all Soldiers perform in our most physically demanding occupations. These tasks helped us design a test to predict each recruit’s physical aptitude to succeed in our most physically demanding jobs.
The Occupational Physical Assessment Test is a predictive test made up of four events – standing long jump, seated power throw, strength deadlift and interval aerobic run. In others words, think of the OPAT as the ASVAB for physical aptitude, predicting whether or not a recruit will be physically able to succeed in a combat arms occupation by the end of their training.
It is similar to how the ASVAB helps predict a recruit’s future academic success and aligns them to a particular MOS. Although the exact date for beginning the OPAT in our recruiting centers has not been determined, a large-scale validation test is underway until mid-2016.
Soldier 2020 is about a standards-based Army in which any recruit able to meet the standards of a job will be allowed to perform that job.
Check out this video to learn more about OPAT.
Victory Starts Here!
– CSM D
Explaining the new physical assessment test for recruits