PFT Standards

by Stew Smith

Usually after writing about military physical fitness tests (PFT), I receive several emails about the specific standards of each age group in a particular branch of service for a male or female. I have located several reference links for more information on what exercises, standards for sex and age, and recommended scores to receive the highest scores.

The physical fitness tests of all branches of the military and other special units have differing exercises, standards, and distances in runs and swims. This week's article is a one-stop location for answers to the many different PFTs in our Department of Defense.

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Army

The basic Army physical fitness test consists of a two-mile run, sit-ups and push-ups. See Military.com article archive for the Army PFT article on how to ace the APFT and for guidance on getting in shape to score an outstanding score of 300.

The Army Rangers require their candidates to score the following prior to attending Ranger School.

Ranger PFT

Minimum Scores

Recommended Scores

Push-ups in 2:00

49 in 2:00

80+

Sit-ups in 2:00

59

80+

Pull-ups

6

12+

Two-mile run

15:12

Sub 13:00

5 Mile run

40:00

35:00

16-mile hike w/65lb pack

5 hours 20 minutes

4-5 hours

15-meter swim with gear

P/F

P/F

For better ideas on how to prepare for such difficult training, see the link below of the Military.com Fitness eBook store. For the month of August anyone who purchases an Army Ranger or SF eBook will receive the Phase II version (weeks 7-12) for free via email.

Related Articles

- "Green Berets: Some Guidelines and a Workout That May Help You Make It"
- "Army Rangers -- Lead the Way"
- "Army Airborne Training - Jump Start Your Career"

For Army Special Forces assessment and Selection Course (SFAS), it is recommended to score a minimum of 260 on the Army PFT for 17-21 year-old male. This three-week course requires you to be able to fast march many miles a day using land navigation skills, climb obstacle courses. If you can do the recommended scores for Army Ranger, you should be well prepared for SFAS. Also see the Army's Special Forces Guidelines for more information on Special Forces Training.

Back to top

Navy

Navy Physical readiness tests, with associated height/weight/body fat measurements, are conducted twice each fiscal year. The test is designed to measure flexibility, muscular endurance and aerobic capacity. The Navy physical fitness test consists of a 1.5-mile run, sit-ups and push-ups. Also swimming 500m for time is an option for the 1.5-mile run. This is a standard PT test used by other braches and many law enforcement agencies across the United States.

Click here for information on scoring criteria.

The Navy SEALs, Navy SWCC, Divers, and SAR swimmers naturally have more water-based fitness tests and training. See the following links on the standards and information about the schools:

- Navy SEALs
- Navy SWCC

Back to top

Air Force

During initial entry processing, both men and women are required to pass a Physical Fitness test that measures cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance and mobility. The test consists of the two-mile run, push-ups and sit-ups. In addition to initial entry physical fitness requirements, the Air Force has an annual fitness test requiring a passing score in a 1.5-mile run, push-ups and sit-ups.

See the Navy PFT link for ideas on scoring well on the AF PFT since it is the same test. This link will give you an idea of minimum scores for the different sex/age groups.

AF PFT standards

The Air Force Special Forces units -- PJs or para-rescue forces have a Navy SEAL-type fitness test and standards. See the Military.com article on Air Force version of Special Forces.

Back to top

Marine Corps

The Physical Fitness Test is administered every six months. All Marines are provided time to train and are expected to maintain an adequate degree of physical fitness. The standard physical fitness test consists of three events that measure cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, endurance, and mobility.

Male Marines will perform "dead-hang” pull-ups, abdominal crunches, and a three-mile run. Female Marines will complete the "flexed-arm" hang, abdominal crunches, and a three-mile run with a pull-up option.

Check out this USMC PFT calculator to figure out where your fitness level stands compared to a U.S. Marine.

USMC RECON has a challenging course of instruction and more information can be found at the Military.com Article, "The Recon Marines."

Back to top

Coast Guard

Physical fitness requirements in the Coast Guard are directly linked to On the Job requirements. Coast Guard men and women who are rescue swimmers, small boat crew members, etc., must comply with the specific physical standards set forth by their position, but here are the standards for the “Navy PFT” plus 12 minute swim.

SPECIFIC PFT REQUIREMENTS ARE:

MALE

PUSH-UPS

SIT-UPS

SIT&REACH

1.5 MILE RUN

12 MIN SWIM

<30       

29 

38

16.5”

12:51

500 yds

30-39

24

35

15.5”

13:36

450 yds

40-49

18

29

14.25”

14:29

400 yds

FEMALE

         

>30

23

32

19.25”

15:26

400 yds

30-39

19

25

18.25”

15:57

350 yds

40-49

13

20

17.25”

16:58

300 yds

Click here to view Coast Guard Fitness Standards

Back to top

This article should help you find the standards you should reach prior to joining the military. It is always recommended to never strive for the minimum physical standards when seeking a profession that requires a fit body to perhaps save your life or the lives of your comrades. If you are seeking to get back into shape and want to be as fit as one of the above military members, check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Feel free to email me at stew@stewsmith.com and thanks for the many emails in the past that prompted me to do some research on this article. Hope it helps.

Join the discussion


Advertisement