Annual physical fitness testing is an essential part of military life, as the yearly evaluation required by the Department of Defense differs for each service.
Sadly though, it seems the newest military branch has made the decision to abandon this approach, as an announcement from the Space Force indicates that members will not be required to complete an annual test.
Smart rings or other fitness equipment monitors will be used instead as a replacement to monitor people’s annual physical activity in addition to sleep. diet, and mental health.
US Space Force leadership notes that the new strategy would be helpful in monitoring a person’s overall health, as previously, military personnel have developed eating disorders or other unhealthy behaviors as a result of the annual exam.
A color-coded fitness indicator will be used for the system, with green indicating health, yellow indicating opportunity for progress, and red indicating health stats.
In a memo, the Space Force deputy chief of space operations for personnel, Patricia Mulcahy wrote that “This program will promote not just physical fitness; it will pair fitness with robust education on diet, sleep hygiene and other physiological factors to promote social, mental and spiritual health as well.”
This new system will officially be put in place starting in 2023, however change is still currently taking shape, as Space Force members are still required to pass one more Air Force fitness exam. The exam in question consists of a timed 1.5-mile run and a minute of situps and pushups.
Officials express hope in the new system motivating personnel to take good care of themselves throughout the entire year.
Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton, commander of Space Training and Readiness Command said, “There’s increased responsibility on me, not just once a year to take a fitness test, for example, but maybe to exercise 90 minutes a week.”