Why you should do a PFT

I’ve written about this topic before, but I have recently encountered a number of applicants who want to just submit the Cadet Fitness Assessment they did for their Academy application.  If you don’t understand what I’m talking about let me break it down in simple terms.  As part of the Army ROTC scholarship application Cadet Command asks you to take a modified Presidential Fitness Test.  You can download the scorecard right from the application website, and you can have a gym teacher or coach administer the test.  The test consists of three events:

1 minute of pushups

1 minute of CURLUPS

1 mile run

I highlight curlups, because that is not the exercise the Army will ask you to do once you are in.  If you enroll in Army ROTC you will never be tested on curlups again.

So, applicants to a Service Academy like West Point are asked to take what is called the Cadet Fitness Assessment (CFA).  This is a 6 event test that consists of:

Basketball throw

Pull ups or flexed arm hang

Shuttle run

2 minutes of Curl ups

2 minutes of Push ups

1 mile run

If the applicant chooses to have the Academy send the CFA score to Cadet Command they will use that score.  But, it appears what Cadet Command does is cuts your Curl up and Push up scores in half (2 minutes vs 1 minute) and takes the run time as is.  Does anyone else see the issues I have with this??

First off you are being asked to do three events before the event Cadet Command wants you to be tested on.  Think doing a shuttle run and a bunch of pull ups before your test might reduce your score a little?  Then they are asking you to do two minutes instead of one.  Think an extra minute of two exercises before the run might add a second or two?  And finally, does anyone else usually do more push ups and sit ups in the first minute if they are being tested for two minutes?

So, I’m recommending that you take the 30 minutes it will take to do a straight up PFT and send Cadet Command the best score you can and exactly what they asked for.

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Quick look at the first board

Just some quick initial analysis regarding the first scholarship board.  Keep in mind that I am out here on the frontiers of freedom and don’t have all the data.  My analysis is based on what I can glean from the Cadet Command Information Management System (CCIMS).

alt offer – 11

Offer – 202

eligible -7

interviewee – 5748

ineligible – 948

Here is what I count.

The first thing I’m assuming is that there are 213 applicants that will soon receive an offer letter.  That is not a lot.

I don’t know what constitutes eligible vs. interviewee, but my assumption is that this pool of 5755 applicants are somewhere between completing the online application and having all their information in so that their file is board ready.  You will be in an interviewee status until you are offered a scholarship, so make sure you check to see that your interview is posted and then don’t sweat the fact that your status still lists you as eligible for the interview.  I know that doesn’t sound logical, but some of this process won’t make a lot of sense.

My final assumption is that the 948 ineligibles have something in their app that precludes them from competing.  Things such as low SAT, low high school GPA, or age may disqualify them.

So what does all this mean?  Very little in my opinion.  You can’t control how many scholarships are given.  You can’t control how you compare against other applicants who are competing for the same allocations.  The only thing you can control is how quickly you apply, how quickly you complete your file, and the quality of your application and interview performance.  I would remind you that to become an Army Officer you will make some sacrifices, in time, money, and effort.  How bad do you want it?