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Would the U.S. Army reject you?
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The U.S. Army will start giving four new tests of physical fitness to recruits, in addition to its existing standards for health and physical abilities. Could you pass? - photo by Jennifer Graham
For the first time, the U.S. Army will funnel soldiers into jobs based on their levels of fitness, military officials said last week. Four new tests will measure how far recruits can jump or throw a ball, how fast they can run and how much weight they can lift, the Associated Press reported.

The results will help decide if a new enlistee is headed for combat or will serve his or her country in a kitchen or at a desk, Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, told Lolita Baldor of The Associated Press.

"By doing predictive tests we can marry people up with those specialties that physically they should be able to do, which should reduce attrition and be a better fit for the Army," Snow said. "It is truly about the right person at the right time with the right skill sets to perform, and we think that we're setting them up for success in that particular specialty."

Currently, a soldier's speciality is largely determined by a written test that measures knowledge in areas such as math, science and electronics. Recruits also have to meet medical standards on overall health, weight and body-fat composition.

This alone weeds many people out. The Pentagon has estimated that nearly three-quarters of Americans aged 17-24 would not qualify to enter the Armed Services, and obesity is the No. 1 reason, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal.

If you completed The Army Ten-Miler or some sort of civilian boot-camp fitness training, you might think you could easily qualify for service. You can find out, of course, at a local recruiting office. But there are other ways to determine if you're Army material without leaving the house:

Your weight may be a deal-breaker if you're a 5'9'' male who weighs 195 pounds, or a 5'3'' woman who weighs 155. To see if you would be disqualified because of your weight, check out the weight calculator at goarmy.com.

If you survive that, go to YouTube, where the Army explains and demonstrates its new fitness tests, designed to measure strength, agility and endurance. To pass, it helps if you jump like Carl Lewis, pass like John Stockton, lift like Sarah Robles and run like Meb.

Those tests, of course, are just to start.

After you complete 10 weeks of basic training, you'll have to pass a fitness test consisting of push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. The National Guard's website offers a calculator of what would be expected of someone your age and height.

If you find yourself lacking, take heart: the Army's website offers a pocket training guide that anyone can use, whether military service is in their future or not, to get Army strong.
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