NEWS | Jan. 16, 2020

Eighth Army Engineers Install ACFT Equipment

By Sgt. 1st Class Daniel James Wallace 8th Army

Soldiers from the 3rd Vertical Engineer Platoon, 643rd Engineer Support Company began installing pull-up bars Jan. 14, 2020 at Balboni Field on Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

The installation of the pull-up bars is one of the steps in the process of creating testing locations in South Korea for the Army Combat Fitness Test.

"The ACFT is scheduled to become the Army physical test of record in October," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Schmidt, the Eighth Army command sergeant major. "At the headquarters, we're responsible for setting the conditions for success. We do that by making sure our major subordinate commands have the equipment and land space to both train for the test and to take it."

"If we don't make sure our Soldiers are given the tools required to succeed, we will have failed them and the Army," added Schmidt.

With the six event ACFT requiring a variety of equipment, Eighth Army leaders looked at the installation of the pull-up bars as a unique opportunity.

"Having Soldiers from the 11th Engineer Battalion install the pull-up bars was a win-win," said Sgt. Maj. Bernard Neely Jr., the Eighth Army training and exercise sergeant major. "First, their hard work provided us with the equipment required to do the leg tuck event. Second, it gave our engineers an opportunity to use their military occupational specialty training and skills."

"It's not every day they get to go out and build structures or do construction around the bases," Neely added.

With thousands of Soldiers stationed at bases across the peninsula, leaders know there needs to be a variety of ways for physical training to take place.

"We've installed these pull-up bars and others like them across our installations," said Neely. "We've also placed containers with workout equipment at multiple locations for Soldiers to use during morning physical training hours."

Schmidt said they want to ensure Soldiers coming to South Korea don't feel it will be a year of regression in their physical training.

"Soldiers coming to the peninsula will get the same quality training and facilities to succeed on the ACFT as they would have anywhere - if not better," said Schmidt. "If your goal is to achieve a 600 on the ACFT, we have all the tools you need to do that right here."