CBS North Carolina reporter takes US Army physical fitness test

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) – Physical fitness is mandatory for the men and women that proudly serve our country.

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Many workout not once, but twice a day as physical fitness becomes second nature for soldiers.

Twice a year, soldiers must take the U.S. Army’s physical fitness test.

CBS North Carolina’s Nate Rodgers recently joined hundreds of soldiers in taking the test.

First roll call takes place, then a demonstration on how to properly execute each of the three tasks in the test.

The three tasks are:

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Two-mile run

Starting off, each soldier receives a score card and is evaluated on the exercises according to gender and age.

First up are push-ups, where soldiers have two minutes to do as many as possible.

A scorer will call out the number of times a soldier correctly executes a push-up. A soldier must do three things to do a correct push-up:

  • Keep your body generally straight
  • Lower your whole body until your upper arms are, at least, parallel to the ground
  • Extend your arms completely

Rodgers did 53, more than the 39 needed to pass. He received 75 points.


After push-ups, it was 10 minutes to rest before two minutes of sit-ups.

“I think my minimum is 15, my max is 45 which is doable with sit-ups,” Spc. Gretchen Cottam said. “It’s the same as men. We have to do 82 to get 100 percent.”

The U.S. Army says a soldier’s sit-up repetition will not be counted if:

  • Fail to reach the vertical position
  • Fail to keep your fingers interlocked behind your head
  • Arch or bow your back
  • Raise your buttocks off the ground to raise your upper body
  • Let your knees exceed a 90-degree angle

Rodgers did 57 sit-ups with his legs burning profusely at the end.

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A total of 45 sit-ups is the minimum so Rodgers earned 73 points.

Finally, the two-mile run which is eight laps around the track.

Rodgers was exhausted after a half mile in from the previous exercises. A couple times, he slowed his pace but was encouraged to keep going.

Rodgers sprinted and crashed in the end.

On the two-mile run, Rodgers was given 17 minutes to complete the test.

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A soldier aged 17-26 must complete the two-mile run in 13 minutes to receive a score of 100.

See the two-mile run standards chart

He completed the run in 16 minutes and 32 seconds.

That gave him 64 points – for a total of 212.

Following the physical fitness test, there is a height and weight examination to ensure soldiers meet the military guidelines.

Sgt. 1st Class Corey Wilkens said part of that includes taking three measurements of the neck and abdomen to determine a soldier’s body fat percentage.

Soldiers that fail the PT test undergo more training with their command then retest in 30 days.

If a soldier fails twice, the process begins for discharge from the military.

The maximum score a soldier can receive is 300 but 180 is needed to pass.

However, it’s not just about passing.

The PT score also impacts school options and officer promotions.