What Are the Physical Requirements to Join the Military?

Physical fitness is essential for individuals looking to join the United States military. The different branches of the military—the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard, and Space Force—all have their own physical exams you will need to complete once you are admitted.

However, during the initial application process, the U.S. military requirements for fitness involve the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA). The CFA helps determine whether you have the potential to successfully complete the physical programs at the United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, and United States Naval Academy.

The CFA requirements are the same no matter which branch you are interested in joining. In this article, we’ll explain the military fitness requirements that the Candidate Fitness Assessment entails.

U.S. Military Physical Requirements for the Candidate Fitness Assessment

The CFA is made up of 6 different events that are used to measure your balance, agility, power, cardio-respiratory endurance, and muscular strength and endurance. The test must be administered by a physical education teacher, coach, or other approved personnel. All 6 events must be completed within 40 minutes and in a specific sequence. Here are the 6 events in order:

1. Basketball Throw

· Test Start Time: 0:00

· Testing Time: 2 minutes

· Rest Time: 3 minutes

· Total Elapsed Time: 5:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must remain on their knees at one side of a gymnasium and attempt to throw a basketball as far as possible without moving from the kneeling position. You must execute three trials within the 2 minute period.

2. Pull-Ups

· Test Start Time: 5:00

· Testing Time: 2 minutes

· Rest Time: 3 minutes

· Total Elapsed Time: 10:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must mount a pull-up bar with a pronated grip—the back of their hands facing toward them—and fully extend their arms so they are in a static hang. They must then raise their jawline above the bar without swinging or kicking and then return to a static hang to complete one repetition. The candidate must perform each repetition on command for the entire testing time. The maximum number of repetitions is 18 for men and 7 for women.

3. Shuttle Run

· Test Start Time: 10:00

· Testing Time: 2 minutes

· Rest Time: 3 minutes

· Total Elapsed Time: 15:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must start fully behind a starting line and, upon a “go” signal, run 30 feet to a turn-around line and touch the ground past the line simultaneously with their foot and hand, then run back to the starting line, do the same, run back to the turn-around line, and once more back to the finish line for a total of 2 down-and-backs. Candidates get two trials to get the fastest time.

4. Crunches

· Test Start Time: 15:00

· Testing Time: 2 minutes

· Rest Time: 3 minutes

· Total Elapsed Time: 20:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must complete as many crunch repetitions as possible in 2 minutes using the proper technique.

5. Push-Ups

· Test Start Time: 20:00

· Testing Time: 2 minutes

· Rest Time: 3 minutes

· Total Elapsed Time: 25:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must complete as many push-up repetitions as possible in 2 minutes using the proper technique.

6. 1-Mile Run

· Test Start Time: 30:00

· Testing Time: 10 minutes

· Rest Time: Assessment complete

· Total Elapsed Time: 40:00

· What the Event Entails: Candidates must run continuously for 1 mile within the 10 minute testing time.

At PHIT America Foundation, we believe that physical activity is a Miracle Drug for kids that helps to improve our national security by ensuring they are fit enough to meet military requirements. Currently, 75% of teens are not fit enough to join the military. That’s why we think PE is a necessity in schools in order to build a healthier future for our children and our country.

We aim to improve the physical and mental health of children all across the United States by providing kids with increased physical activity programs, like our AMPED programs; getting physical education back in schools; and helping children afford to play organized sports. Sign our petition for healthy kids, or visit our website to find out how you can get involved and bring an AMPED program to a school near you! You can also help us get kids active and healthy by donating to us today!



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