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Old 11 August 2012, 03:11
Dart368 Dart368 is offline
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Question Spec Ops Physical Qualifications

I have wondered this. For SRT in my department, we have to do a physical qualification every 3 months. This consists of the FBI SWAT 880 yard course or 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. Being in my late forties now, it has me wondering how much longer I can do this as injuries are becoming apparent from years of training (Well, I am claiming that anyway instead of saying I am getting old).

Do SEAL's, Delta, Rangers, PJ's, Recon, Etc. have a yearly or quarterly or bi-annual physical qualification they need to meet? Do other Spec Ops have these as well?

Just another question that pings in my mind. To me, it seems a little silly to kick someone off a team for not meeting a certain standard. Let's say that I can do 70 push ups, 50 sit ups and 10 pull ups but I do the run in 12:20. On our team, you are put on "Inactive" status until you meet the time. If you never meet the time limit, you never get back to "Active" status which means you can attend training, go on call outs, etc. Maybe I am just worried that my time will come when I won't be able to make the cut due to injuries.

How is it with military teams?
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Old 11 August 2012, 05:30
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Originally Posted by Dart368 View Post
To me, it seems a little silly to kick someone off a team for not meeting a certain standard.


I'm thinking you're not going to like the answers you receive.
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Old 11 August 2012, 06:19
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Do SEAL's, Delta, Rangers, PJ's, Recon, Etc. have a yearly or quarterly or bi-annual physical qualification they need to meet? Do other Spec Ops have these as well?
Every fucking day is selection. You are expected to pass a PT test at any time. You are expected to be constantly improving your physical fitness.

In Regiment if you fail a PT test you have one month or six weeks (I forget) until you take another one. If you fail that one you can be sent to the regular Army.

For SF it is a little more tricky. Since you are MOS Q'd you can be kicked off your team and sent to a shit detail, such as an ammo NCO. But getting kicked out of SF just for PT... someone with more experience would have to answer that.

The truth is a PT test is an easy day.
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Old 11 August 2012, 08:27
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Originally Posted by Hot Mess
Every fucking day is selection....
Ditto. This is essentially a young man's game. Older guys CAN play it, but it costs more.

I fully support, and adhere to, the idea that if you can't ruck the fuck up -- you need to go to a cubicle job.

There is no shame for stepping out of the way and allowing someone who is healthier/stronger to take over. There is HUGE shame in hampering an op because of one's selfishness/hardheadedness....
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Old 11 August 2012, 08:47
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I have wondered this. For SRT in my department, we have to do a physical qualification every 3 months. This consists of the FBI SWAT 880 yard course or 1.5 miles in 12 minutes.
This is the exact same standard my team adopted about 10 years ago...

I am an old, broken down dude with bad knees these days.. that simply is too lazy to get out and run 4x days a week like I used to..

but just before I left the team (left law enforcement all together) I was in my late 30's and was still passing the test twice a year (we took it bi-annually)...

Today.. if I were to decide to go back into law enforcement, I would have no expectation of jumping right back into SWAT.. I might still have all the knowledge.. I might even have retained all the "tactical" skills I would need to be effective (doubtful).. but my current fitness level would ABSOLUTELY slow down the team.. I recognize that and accept it.. and wouldnt want to put them in harms way..

Its just time to move on (or push that much harder, and find a way to make the physical standard)..
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Old 11 August 2012, 09:58
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Every fucking day is selection. You are expected to pass a PT test at any time. You are expected to be constantly improving your physical fitness.

In Regiment if you fail a PT test you have one month or six weeks (I forget) until you take another one. If you fail that one you can be sent to the regular Army.

For SF it is a little more tricky. Since you are MOS Q'd you can be kicked off your team and sent to a shit detail, such as an ammo NCO. But getting kicked out of SF just for PT... someone with more experience would have to answer that.

The truth is a PT test is an easy day.
Inspirational words...thank you. You got me fired up and motivated now. So, what is the test? What Regiment is it? I am guessing Rangers?
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Old 11 August 2012, 10:26
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The written standard is more lenient than what is expected of the guys on an ODA.

If your 2 mile run time is over 14 minutes you will have problems with the team SGT regardless of your age. The normal 'standard' for the young guys is to max the Army APFT in the 17-21 year age bracket, so you need to run your 2 miles in about 13 minutes or better.

If you break down too much to stay on a team group usually moves you to a staff job somewhere where you are not working as an operator.

Common sense is the rule of thumb for dealing with people who are injured or old. A temporary disability such as a sprained ankle is no problem. A permanent one which will prevent you from keeping up on a mission will cause you to be moved from the team. Teams will work around minor limitations such as bad shoulders, etc. so long as you can compensate and are still value added.

Last edited by BrittleHair; 11 August 2012 at 10:31.
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Old 11 August 2012, 10:41
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So, what is the test? What Regiment is it? I am guessing Rangers?
Yes, Regiment is Ranger Battalion, for me. Some refer to SF and 160th as Regiment as well, but I grew up in Ranger Regiment so it will always be "Regiment" to me.

When I was in the standard was 80% in the 18-21 age category in every event PU, SU, 2mi run in under 14:20 with a combined score of not less than 270 and 6 pull ups. In addition, you were responsible to pass a 12mi ruck, 35lbs dry, in under 3 hrs, swim 25m in BDU's and LCE with weapon, conduct a don and ditch, and step off a 3m platform, eyes covered, with LCE/weapon, and surface with no fear. Oh, and run 5mi in under 40min, I almost forgot.

Now the tests they do are much more inline with total body functional strength. I worked with a Best Ranger winner once who was in his 40's and on my best day I wouldn't have touched him physically, he was just a genetic beast. I've seen more than a few guys in there 50's who would take my milk money any day of the week. I think the common ground was that they just wanted it and they never slowed down.

There isn't much worse than a look you get when you fail a team event or physical test. I've been on both ends before and that shame I've felt is motivation to unfuck myself in a hurry. Injuries aside, I am always trying to fix something. Be it one thing at a time or a few. That is the difference between professionals and the other guys. Just don't ask me to climb ropes
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Old 11 August 2012, 12:18
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Thank you for the information. I am 49 years old and have not failed a physical test. I did get injured about a year ago but have been training/running for the past 4 months doing 3 mile hill runs. I have my physical test coming up next month.

Another part of our department's problem is that due to budget constraints, they are not willing to give a test to add new members to our team. So as it stands now, we got 17 guys of which, about 12 are really hardcore. We are a part time team which makes it even harder as most of our training is done on our own time. Anyway, no excuses though.

Awesome insight on what it takes to be elite. I salute you guys.

Last edited by Dart368; 11 August 2012 at 12:22. Reason: Added Text
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Old 11 August 2012, 12:21
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Annually, a few or 1-2 midshipmen at USNA flunked their last PT tests (by a few minutes or less than the minimum) before graduation. so they cannot graduated. And they have to pay back the government for 4 years of an excellent education even though it is free till you graduated......

[QUOTE=Dart368;1058177484] To me, it seems a little silly to kick someone off a team for not meeting a certain standard.
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Old 11 August 2012, 12:43
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Annually, a few or 1-2 midshipmen....
.
Midshipmen's hardships compared to SOF, well that makes sense....
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Old 11 August 2012, 12:50
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I'll wade in and say that I think LE SWAT is a very different animal from Mil Special Forces of any type. Different mission, different priorities.

When I was on the DEA Entry Team, there was no PT test at all and frankly even though I never had any problems with any PT standard, I had no problem with how they ran the team.

I would rather have a 40 year old guy with 10 years making tactical entries behind me in the stack who could only run a 8 minute mile rather than a 22 year old PT Stud with 2 years on the job. I think the skills needed in Law Enforcement, even SWAT Teams, stress real world experience and crucial decision making ability over physical ability.

I made more than a few narcotics raids and tactical entries and never had to run more than a few hundred yards in kit, nor did I ever ruck 15 miles. I will say that when I was doing Meth Lab entries that running just 50 yards in full nomex, body armor, kit and SCBA gear felt like a 15 mile ruck run.

I did however need to make dozens and dozens of split second decisions analyzing threats and making shoot/ no shoot decisions. To me this was more crucial in LE than running a 6 min mile.

This in no way implies that I feel physical fitness in NOT an important factor in LE SWAT ops, just that it is not AS important in LE as it is in Military missions.

This is just my opinion, take it for what it's worth.
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Old 11 August 2012, 14:06
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Seanmcd82 - I see your point. The problem however, as I see it, with a "participation only" PT test vs. a pass-fail test, assumes that guys have enough personal responsibility and professionalism in order to stay mission-ready.

In my limited experience, I don't see that happening.

The guys that take this shit seriously will never have a problem on a PT test anyways. In my opinion, a pass-fail test is designed to weed out the ones that worry about minimums to pass etc.

Experience is very important, no doubt. I care, however, more about what you are capable of doing today vs. what you did 10 years ago....
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Old 11 August 2012, 14:09
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It sounds like you are thrying to justify staying on a team if you don't meet the standards. Is this rationale best for the team as a whole, or best for you? Everyone understands the concept of meeting standards or not playing. You also have to remember that being part of a team means putting it before yourself....may be a tough pill to swallow but you can't call yourself a teammate if your only thoughs are of yourself.
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Old 11 August 2012, 14:10
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I'm in SWAT and in Special Forces. Our run time for SWAT (both full time and part time) is 12:45 for the 1.5 mile run for guys over 35 .12 minutes for guys 35 and younger. We in full time SWAT do a PT test 4 times a year and the part time does it 6 times a year.

For LE SWAT, I totally agree with what Sean said, I'd take experience over a guy who can ONLY do two things (shoot and PT). I've kicked out guys who can't meet the standards regardless of age and this is after the required re-training, re-qual, etc.

As for Special Forces, I'm HM's 18Z and I agree with what he said. Also, I've gotten rid of guys on my ODA for not meeting the standards regardless of how much time team and experience they had. This is of course after the required informal counseling, etc.
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Old 11 August 2012, 14:37
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From my time at a SEAL Team: two minutes each of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, three mile run, half mile swim. Your score could range from UNSAT through OUTSTANDING depending on your numbers/times and age. Age was factored in by five year increments, letting you score SLIGHTLY lower the older you got. Conducted every six months.

From my time at a large agency/full time SWAT Team: two mile run in less than 16:00, rope climb over 20 foot wall wearing 15lbs vest. Obstacle course conducted in 50lbs vest in less than 2:00. No set time between conducting the test, but you were expected to be able to pass any time the Team Leader requested it.

As stated above, physical readiness is essential in SPECOPS type organizations. Yes, there is a big difference in Military, and Law Enforcement type mission sets, but lots of overlap in some cases. My SWAT Team placed high priority on stamina/cardio in our daily PT due to the vast area of our AO that we could be conducting rural operations/tracking ops in.

Long story short, don't be the guy that slows down the Team, or who places your guys/the public in danger because you are "sucking-ass" as opposed to doing your job...
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Old 11 August 2012, 14:54
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For the OP, you're in CA and I'm in CA. I think you or a supervisor needs to look at your PT program. Look at other agencies (around your area) PT quals as compared to the size of your SWAT Team (full time vs part time) and see if what you have works for you or you need to change things. Just because you do things doesn't mean you can't change things.

For us, we used to have different PT standards for females and males for part and full time SWAT. Now it's only one standard and we changed that about 10 years ago.
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Old 11 August 2012, 15:07
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It sounds like you are thrying to justify staying on a team if you don't meet the standards. Is this rationale best for the team as a whole, or best for you? Everyone understands the concept of meeting standards or not playing. You also have to remember that being part of a team means putting it before yourself....may be a tough pill to swallow but you can't call yourself a teammate if your only thoughs are of yourself.
I'm nor sure, was this directed at me? Maybe I misunderstood.
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Old 11 August 2012, 15:29
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Seanmcd82 - I see your point. The problem however, as I see it, with a "participation only" PT test vs. a pass-fail test, assumes that guys have enough personal responsibility and professionalism in order to stay mission-ready. ....
I agree with this. I think a PT Test ( among many other qualifications ie. shooting, breaching, decision making, etc) should be mandatory for any Team. And I agree that the guys who have the professsionalism needed to stay on the team will probably never have a problem with the qual.

I guess my point is that of all the skills needed to be on a LE SWAT team, PT is one skill that matters less (to me) than other skills such as those mentioned above, ie" shoooting, breaching, decision making, hands on take downs etc.

If I had a very well trained LE sniper on my team, with 15 plus years behind the scope, who had outstanding decision making history, I probably wouldn't care too much if he was in a friggin wheelchair.

As 18CV4 said, tests and quals are valuable, but the TL should be able to have final say on who stays and who goes.

And just in case anyone thinks I am a PT apologist, I have had no problems with any PT Test ever taken since my first Army PFT (300) in 1985.
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Old 11 August 2012, 15:35
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Sean - got it. I agree.

I wouldn't really put "pt" in a skill category. In my view, it is more of an entry ticket to play the game. All those other skills you mentioned rely in one way or another on a certain level of fitness.
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