ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENTS
This section covers PRT programs for the active and reserve component (RC) forces. It also provides an overview of the Army training management process and its relationship to the development of individual and unit PRT programs.
Active component PRT includes unit, individual, reconditioning, and special conditioning programs.
The goal of Army PRT is to improve each Soldier’s physical ability to survive and win in any operational environment. Physical readiness includes all aspects of physical performance and requires training well above that of simple preparation for the APFT. Commanders are responsible for the training, performance, and readiness of their Soldiers. Physical readiness training is a commander’s program; therefore, commanders should employ the Army training management process specified in FM 7-0. The Army training management process provides a systematic way to manage time and resources to meet training objectives through purposeful training activities. Commanders use this process to identify training requirements and to subsequently plan, prepare, execute, and assess all training.
Mission-Essential Task List
The Army’s training management model provides the framework for commanders to achieve proficiency in their unit’s mission-essential task list (METL). The unit METL drives training. Key to the success of this process is the inclusion of bottom-up feedback. This approach applies mission command to the training process. With this approach, senior leaders provide training focus, direction, and resources. Subordinate leaders develop objectives and training requirements specific to the unit and provide feedback on training proficiency. They also identify unit needs and train to standard according to the unit training schedule or the event training plan. Senior leaders provide guidance based on mission and priorities, requiring subordinate leaders to conduct analysis to identify both collective and individual tasks that support the higher headquarters mission-essential tasks. This is the top-down approach to training. Input provided by subordinate leaders identifies critical training needs in order to achieve task proficiency. This is the bottom-up approach to training. This process, when combined, creates the top-down/bottom-up approach to training. This ensures effective communication of the requirements and of the planning, preparing, executing, and assessing of training. This process is essential to ensure proper conduct and execution of the unit PRT program.
Well-planned PRT maximizes physical performance in the completion of critical Soldier and leader tasks that support the unit’s mission and C- and/or D-METL. It must reflect the commander’s training objectives and goals and must reflect the principles of precision, progression, and integration. With ever changing operating tempo (OPTEMPO), units and Soldiers must continue to train to improve/sustain METL performance. Training priorities dictate how often and how rigorously PRT occurs.
Army Force Generation
Army Force Generation is the driving force behind training management. The Army provides campaign capable expeditionary forces through ARFORGEN. Army Force Generation applies to both regular Army and RC (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve) units. Unit commanders and PRT leaders can plan PRT based on the specific requirements addressed in each of the ARFORGEN phases. Chapter 5 provides commanders and PRT leaders with example training schedules based on the three phases of ARFORGEN. Each phase has a specific focus.
The reset phase focuses on individual and collective training tasks that support their C- and/or D-METL.
The train/ready phase focuses on higher level collective tasks associated specifically with deployment.
The available phase continues focus on higher-level collective tasks. The unit achieves trained status and becomes available for immediate alert and deployment.
Top Down/Bottom Up
Units not involved in ARFORGEN should still follow the Army training management process. The unit’s mission and METL still drive training. The top-down/bottom-up approach to training mentioned previously ensures effective communication of the requirements and of the planning, preparing, executing, and assessing of training. Senior leaders continue to provide training focus, direction, and resources. Subordinate leaders continue to develop objectives and training requirements specific to the unit and provide feedback on training proficiency. They also identify unit needs and train to standard according to the unit training schedule or event training plan. Senior leaders provide guidance based on mission and priorities, requiring subordinate leaders to conduct analysis to identify both collective and individual tasks that support the higher headquarters missionessential tasks. Well-planned PRT maximizes physical performance in the completion of critical Soldier and leader tasks that support the unit’s mission and METL. It must reflect the commander’s training objective and goals and be based on the principles of precision, progression, and integration. With ever changing OPTEMPO, units and Soldiers must continue to train to improve or sustain METL performance. Training priorities dictate how often and how rigorously PRT occurs. Professional development schools, hospitals, military police, communication centers, and Department of the Army staff have various challenges in planning and conducting PRT. Leaders should make every effort to conduct phased unit or individual PRT five times a week. See Chapter 5 for unit PRT schedules.
Commanders that authorize the use of individual training programs for their Soldiers should follow the same training management principles outlined in the previous paragraphs. Army Force Generation is the driving force behind training management. The Army provides campaign-capable expeditionary forces through ARFORGEN. Army Force Generation also applies to RC (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve) units; therefore, leaders and individual Soldiers need to use the PRT system outlined in this FM to help them achieve and sustain high levels of physical readiness required in the conduct of duty position or full spectrum operations. Individual PRT programs must be designed to improve the individual’s contribution to the unit’s physical readiness. Conditioning, CLs, and GDs, foot marching, and running activities employed in unit PRT can be performed individually or with a partner. Individual and small group PRT should develop and maintain a level of physical readiness equivalent to that required for success in performance of the unit mission and CMETL or D-METL. Chapter 5, Planning Considerations, provides commanders and PRT leaders with examples of collective and individual training schedules based on the three phases of ARFORGEN.
All Soldiers must understand that it is their personal responsibility to achieve and sustain a high level of physical readiness and resilience. Individual physical readiness includes all aspects of physical performance and requires training well above that of simple preparation for the APFT. Many Soldiers are assigned to duty positions that restrict participation in collective unit PRT programs. Examples include Army staff, hospitals, service-school staff and faculty, recruiting, Reserve Officer Training Corps, Reserve and National Guard units. In such units, commanders must develop leadership environments that encourage and motivate Soldiers to accept individual responsibility for their own physical readiness. Physical readiness and resilience requirements are the same for these personnel as for others.
As mentioned in Chapter 2, System, the objective of the reconditioning program is to restore physical fitness levels of Soldiers on medical profile that enable them to re-enter the toughening or sustaining phase. Commanders and health care personnel provide special aid to Soldiers assigned to reconditioning PRT for one or more of the following medical conditions: injury, illness, or surgery. Chapter 6, Special Conditioning Programs, provides more information on reconditioning.
PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM TRAINING
The U.S. Army Medical Command has responsibility for the Army Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training (PPPT) Program. The Army PPPT Program is designed to maintain health and fitness levels of pregnant Soldiers and to assist them in returning to pre-pregnancy fitness levels after the end of their pregnancy. The goal is to integrate the Soldier into her unit PRT program with an emphasis on meeting the standards for the Army Weight Control Program (AWCP) and APFT. Pregnancy postpartum physical training program standards, policies, procedures, and responsibilities are set forth in the United States Army Public Health Command (USAPHC), Technical Guide Series 255A-E, U.S. Army Pregnancy Post Partum Physical Training Program. The USAPHC is responsible to ensure that the Technical Guide Series 255A-E manuals are updated periodically and made available in a web-based format. USAPHC is responsible for training PPPT instructor trainers and health care experts who provide training for the PPPT program as specified in the Technical Guide Series 255A-E.
Senior commanders have responsibility for PPPT program execution and will ensure the following:
- All eligible Soldiers will participate in the installation level PPPT program.
- Soldiers maintain health and fitness levels throughout their pregnancy and return to pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
- Soldiers will safely reintegrate into their unit’s PRT program.
- Soldiers meet AWCP and APFT standards.
- Medical consultation and support are provided.
- Healthcare instruction is available for the local PPPT program.
- Facilities and equipment are available for conducting the PPPT.
- Personnel are designated to conduct the PT portion of the PPPT program.
Adhere to the content, standards, policies, procedures, and responsibilities in the guide series and regulation.
- AR 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development.
- USAPHC Technical Guide Series 255A-E, U.S. Army Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training Program. The USAPHC provides and updates this series of guides, which provides the standards, policies, procedures, and responsibilities that Medical Command must follow in administering the PPPT program.
Reserve Component and Remotely Located Soldiers
Reserve component Soldiers, geographically remote Soldiers, and those assigned to installations with a small population of pregnant Soldiers may use the materials designed for an individualized PPPT program. These are available from USAPHC.
Soldiers diagnosed as pregnant or who are recovering from childbirth are exempt from regular unit physical training and APFT for the duration of the pregnancy and 180 days past the end of their pregnancy. These Soldiers are required to enroll in the Army PPPT Program. Before they may participate in the physical training portions of the PPPT program, they must receive clearance to do so from their health care provider. Before they start convalescent leave, postpartum Soldiers receive a postpartum profile. This 45-day temporary profile starts the day of the birth or end of the pregnancy. It specifies that the Soldier may engage in physical training at her own pace. Soldiers are encouraged to use the at-home component of the Army PPPT Program while on convalescent leave. Postpartum Soldiers may return to regular unit physical training before 180 days after the end of their pregnancy, but must receive health care provider clearance to do so.
FAILURE TO PERFORM TO STANDARD
Most units are diverse in physical readiness levels due to injuries, illnesses, deployments, and new Soldiers. This diversity may affect the number of APFT and unit physical readiness standard failures. Over time, a solid PRT program allows Soldiers to achieve the Army and unit standards. Performing high-quality training once per day is a better approach than conducting additional high-volume training that could lead to overuse injuries. Additional reinforcement training, if determined appropriate by the commander, should focus on identified weaknesses and sustain strengths. Do not use supplemental training to punish a Soldier for the inability to perform well.
NEW SOLDIERS ENTERING UNITS
The new Soldier’s threshold level of physical performance may fall below the minimum for his gaining unit. He may be considered a borderline APFT performer or be borderline overweight. He may be fresh out of BCT, AIT, or OSUT, or may have just completed a permanent change of station move or returned from an extended deployment. These Soldiers are facing new conditions relating to physical performance (acclimatization to altitude, temperature, and humidity), which may take them up to four weeks to adapt. Although Soldiers leave IMT prepared to transition to the sustaining phase, they may de-train due to leave, transit, and in-processing at their new duty assignments just like Soldiers in operational units. New Soldiers need to train in the unit for 90 days before PRT leaders or AIs assess the Soldiers’ fitness levels. This timeframe allows them to acclimatize, assimilate into a unit PRT program, and adapt physiologically and psychologically.