Author Topic: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread  (Read 22071 times)

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Offline stellarpanther

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Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« on: August 12, 2014, 19:30:18 »
I don't mean to take this thread in too many different directions but since we're on the topic of CF fitness testing, here's another question.  I was recently told by a CWO and a Major that the BFT is only a unit test and that nothing can be done if a mbr fails or can't complete it.  Is this true?  If a RMS clerk or some other person from a support trade ends up in a unit that does the BFT what actually happens to that person?  I would find it hard to believe that they would simply say "don't worry about it".

Offline Old EO Tech

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 22:09:03 »
I don't mean to take this thread in too many different directions but since we're on the topic of CF fitness testing, here's another question.  I was recently told by a CWO and a Major that the BFT is only a unit test and that nothing can be done if a mbr fails or can't complete it.  Is this true?  If a RMS clerk or some other person from a support trade ends up in a unit that does the BFT what actually happens to that person?  I would find it hard to believe that they would simply say "don't worry about it".

There is an Army message from the CCA that states that the Load Bearing March is an IBTS requirement, and that though failing it is not a fitness fail, your unit CoC is completely within their rights to place the member on administrative measures if appropriate.  As it means you are not operationally deploy-able if you fail IBTS training.  So that CWO/Maj are either not in the Army or are completely ignoring the direction of the CCA.

Offline MedCorps

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 14:33:46 »
To elaborate a little more on the post above.  The Commander Canadian Army has ordered that the Battle Fitness Test is part of Individual Skill Level Two (IS-2) for Fitness part of the Individual Battle Task Standards (IBTS). 

For the Fitness IBTS, IS-1 is the FORCE and IS-2 is the Battle Fitness Test (there is no IS-3 for the fitness IBTS).

This is not unlike say the C7 IBTS where IS-1 is the handling test  + PWT 1.  IS-2 is the handling test + PWT 1 + PWT 2, and IS-3 is handling test + PWT 1 + PWT 2 + PWT-3 + night supplement + weapon sight system supplement if required.

Look at Chapter 2, of B-GL-383-003/FP-001, dated 2012-10-03 (IBTS  for Land Ops).  In this chapter there is a section titled Failure Consequences and it makes it clear that "Commanders can initiate administrative actions and procedures to address these deficiencies in accordance with CFAO if repeated failures occur.  Additionally, failure to meet the required IBTS standards (sic) may represent a breach in the Universality of Service". This pub also talks about the BFT as the IBTS fitness IS-2 in Annex C, Appendix 6.   

So, if the CO (or higher) requires his unit at IBTS IS-2 then the BFT is part and parcel of that standard. 

I hope that is of some interest / help. 

MC

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 15:14:37 »
Except in CANARMYGEN 021/13 the Commander of the Army stated

Quote
4. UNTIL INDIVIDUAL BATTLE TASK STANDARDS (IBTS), CANADIAN ARMY
ORDERS AND THE ARMY FITNESS MANUAL ARE UPDATED, I AM DIRECTING THE
FOLLOWING COMMENCING 1 APRIL 2014:
A. MPFS ASSESSED BY THE FORCE EVALUATION IS THE ONLY FITNESS
STANDARD.  THIS STANDARD INCLUDES ELEMENTS THAT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS
OF THE TRENCH DIG AND CASUALTY EVACUATION OF THE OLD LFCPFS,
THEREFORE THE TRENCH DIG AND CASUALTY EVACUATION WILL NOT BE PART OF
THE MANDATED ANNUAL LOAD-BEARING MARCH,
B. ALL FULL-TIME CAF PERSONNEL POSTED TO CANADIAN ARMY OPERATIONAL
UNITS, DEPLOYABLE HQS, AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS WILL COMPLETE 13 KM
LOAD-BEARING MARCHES ANNUALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PREVIOUS FITNESS
STANDARD (LFCPFS), LESS THE TRENCH DIG AND CASUALTY EVACUATION. 
DESPITE THE OBVIOUS NEED FOR LEADERS TO ENSURE SUFFICIENT WORK-UP
TRAINING AND PREPARATION REQUIRED BEFORE COMPLETING ANY PHYSICAL
TRAINING, LOAD-BEARING MARCHES WILL BECOME PART OF WHAT WE DO ON A
ROUTINE BASIS.  INCREASED INDIVIDUAL STRENGTH AND FITNESS DEVELOPED
OVER TIME WILL EVENTUALLY REDUCE THE NEED FOR LONG WORK-UP TRAINING
BEFORE AND FORMAL RECOVERY PERIODS AFTER LOAD-BEARING MARCHES,
C. TO AVOID CONFUSION WITH TERMINOLOGY SUCH AS THE LFCPFS AND BFT,
THE 13 KM MARCH WILL BE REFERRED TO AS THE LOAD BEARING MARCH (LBM). 
ONCE LBM WEIGHT AND MARCH PARAMETERS HAVE BEEN VALIDATED AND IT HAS
BEEN CONFIRMED AS IBTS 1, FULL TIME CAF PERSONNEL POSTED TO CANADIAN
ARMY OPERATIONAL UNITS, DEPLOYABLE HQS AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS WILL
COMPLETE THE LBM ANNUALLY.  THIS INTENT DOES NOT PRECLUDE COMMANDERS
AND COMMANDING OFFICERS OF NON-OPERATIONAL UNITS, HQS OR NON-TRAINING
INSTITUTIONS FROM DOING LBM TRAINING, IN FACT, IT IS TO BE
ENCOURAGED,
D. AS THE MPFS IS THE ONLY CANADIAN ARMED FORCES FITNESS STANDARD,
ADMINISTRATIVE OR CAREER ACTION BASED ON FITNESS CAN ONLY BE TAKEN AS
A RESULT OF FAILURE OF THE FORCE TEST.  AS WITH OTHER TRAINING
SHORTFALLS, LEADERS RETAIN THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE ADMINISTRATIVE OR
CAREER ACTION AGAINST THEIR PERSONNEL WHO DO NOT COMPLETE THE ANNUAL
IBTS, TO INCLUDE THE LBM.
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2014, 19:19:15 »
Except in CANARMYGEN 021/13 the Commander of the Army stated

Sorry, I'm slow. What are you trying to say has been contradicted by the CANARMYGEN?
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 19:51:27 »
CANARMYGEN states that BFT/LBM is no longer a fitness standard.

So failing it is not a fitness failure, but an individual readiness failure.
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline Brasidas

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 20:15:41 »
CANARMYGEN states that BFT/LBM is no longer a fitness standard.

So failing it is not a fitness failure, but an individual readiness failure.

So fail BFT = no tour? How about a tasking away from the unit?

Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 20:22:34 »
CANARMYGEN states that BFT/LBM is no longer a fitness standard.

So failing it is not a fitness failure, but an individual readiness failure.

Very true and ironically now that it is not just a fitness standard the repercussions for failing are probably greater. 

So fail BFT = no tour? How about a tasking away from the unit?

It would mean that you have failed IBTS, therefore you are not fit for operations.  A tasking away from unit?  If you are unfit, don't tempt them, as you may never get to come back.   >:D   
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Offline ballz

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 21:27:54 »
CANARMYGEN states that BFT/LBM is no longer a fitness standard.

So failing it is not a fitness failure, but an individual readiness failure.

I don't see anyone stating the contrary to that, but the important part of the CANARMYGEN is this:\\

Quote
AS WITH OTHER TRAINING SHORTFALLS, LEADERS RETAIN THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE ADMINISTRATIVE OR CAREER ACTION AGAINST THEIR PERSONNEL WHO DO NOT COMPLETE THE ANNUAL IBTS, TO INCLUDE THE LBM.

People can and should have their feet held to the fire. Hopefully they use this opportunity to change the format to something more physically challenging than the 2h26m time limit when they rename it a "load-bearing march." A big problem with Army's overall fitness level, IMO, is the fact that mbrs were no longer made to do the EXPRES test and the BFT was truly a test that favoured the big, overweight dudes that couldn't make it out of the parking lot on a unit-led run.
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Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 21:56:16 »
I don't see anyone stating the contrary to that, but the important part of the CANARMYGEN is this:\\

People can and should have their feet held to the fire. Hopefully they use this opportunity to change the format to something more physically challenging than the 2h26m time limit when they rename it a "load-bearing march." A big problem with Army's overall fitness level, IMO, is the fact that mbrs were no longer made to do the EXPRES test and the BFT was truly a test that favoured the big, overweight dudes that couldn't make it out of the parking lot on a unit-led run.

It's interesting you say "feet to the fire".  When it was a CAF standard that CoC was held accountable for preparation.  Now that it is not, they aren't.  The only person's feet to the fire are the individuals; which is not necessarily a bad thing, but the CoC seems to be absolved.
 
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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 22:04:50 »
If you want it standardized then great, but pushing/marching ones body weight is not necessarily a standard.  A 60kg person carrying 30kg extra is far from a 100kg person carrying an extra 30kg.

While I agree it shouldn't give fat guys a break, it shouldn't give scrawny guys a break either; which brings females into the mix now too. 

With the diversity of persons in this world and the variety of ways to test fitness/strength, a standard is not achievable and no large group will ever agree.
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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 22:13:30 »
If you want it standardized then great, but pushing/marching ones body weight is not necessarily a standard.  A 60kg person carrying 30kg extra is far from a 100kg person carrying an extra 30kg.

While I agree it shouldn't give fat guys a break, it shouldn't give scrawny guys a break either; which brings females into the mix now too. 

With the diversity of persons in this world and the variety of ways to test fitness/strength, a standard is not achievable and no large group will ever agree.

History shows that just about everyone goes into battle carrying at least 60lbs of stuff. So let's acknowledge that fact and move on from there.

Combat is not an equal opportunity endeavour so we should not be an equal opportunity employer or we will kill more of our people than necessary (with kindness)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 22:54:43 »
If you want it standardized then great, but pushing/marching ones body weight is not necessarily a standard.  A 60kg person carrying 30kg extra is far from a 100kg person carrying an extra 30kg.

With the diversity of persons in this world and the variety of ways to test fitness/strength, a standard is not achievable and no large group will ever agree.

It's not about a "standard" or creating a standard that encompasses all the varieties of fitness/strength/body types/gender/etc. It's about identifying what are honest, bona fide occupational requirements*, and ensuring that everyone is able to meet them. If not, their strengths/weaknesses/body type/gender is not relevant.

The FORCE test has at the very least gone this route, which is the right direction, but executed terribly.

I think, for example, an IBTS IS3 could be made that encompasses some of the more exhausting stuff infanteers do, such as a loaded march with 60lbs over 10km, sling sand bags, carry jerry cans / ammo cans "x" distance in "y" time, complete a long-*** series of "up he sees me down," complete a series of 100m sprints in FFO w/ frag and weapon, etc. This would be a bona fide occupational requirement* and would surely pass the litmus test used to establish a BFOR.** Infanteers could then be required to complete this IBTS every year.

*Bona Fide Occupational Requirement -  "a requirement that is necessary for proper or efficient performance of a job"

**The litmus test is that a BFOR must be:
1. Made honestly, in good faith, and in the sincere belief that it is made in the interests of effectiveness, safety, and productivity; and
2. Objectively reasonable. In other words, it must have a sensible connection to the ability of an employee to do the job.\

BFORs are a very important part of law. A BFOR exception is included in virtually all human rights codes in Canada. Without BFORs being written into law the way they are, all kinds of jobs that require even simple things like vision requirements, etc, wouldn't be able to function.
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Offline MrBlue

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 07:54:54 »
History shows that just about everyone goes into battle carrying at least 60lbs of stuff. So let's acknowledge that fact and move on from there.

Combat is not an equal opportunity endeavour so we should not be an equal opportunity employer or we will kill more of our people than necessary (with kindness)

I agree with your point, but I have to play devil's advocate and add that, when was the last time someone non-combat arms had to march 13km or more besides on operations/ex, etc??

I would love to know where they got this distance from, and what the significance of it is.

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 09:54:23 »
I agree with your point, but I have to play devil's advocate and add that, when was the last time someone non-combat arms had to march 13km or more besides on operations/ex, etc??

I would love to know where they got this distance from, and what the significance of it is.

I agree that there needs to be a difference in the fitness testing for Combat Arms vs. everyone else. No arguments there.

In the Parachute Regiment the '10 miler' is the standard march, to be completed within 2 hours. This distance evolved from the need to move quickly from a drop zone to a target to do the business. 10 miles was the usual distance, apparently, because airplanes are big, easy to spot from the ground, noisy things and we like to try and sneak up on the bad guys as much as possible. This standard has been in place since WW2. On P Company they cover other distances too, such as the 20 miler, as standard tests. Battalions sometimes completed an annual 50 miler, in fighting order, with all weapon systems including MILAN and mortars.

In the UK they used to have an 8 miler, carrying personal weapon and 35lbs in fighting order, to be completed in 1:30 or something like that. In the Cold War days the rationale was that you would debus out of range of the (Soviet) enemy's BM-21 systems, then head into the combat zone on foot. There was also a 2 miler, to be completed in 18 minutes carrying the same load, which apparently simulated the need to move quickly within the combat zone. The 1 1/2 miler was to be completed in 10

The Royal Marines have a 4 miler, 12 miler and 30 miler on their commando course. These have been the same tests since WW2.

IIRC SAS selection week keeps the 20, 35 and 45 milers, all completed consecutively within 4 days carrying 55lbs and personal weapon.

In Canada we used to have a 2 x 10 miler. Not sure about the rationale there.

The Norwegian Army uses a 5, 10, 20 and 30km (in under 4 hours) ski biathlon, carrying 15kg rucks and personal weapon, as their basic combat arms test.

But, apart from history and some cold war era logic, I'm not sure what the rationale has been for those distances other than ensuring that those tested are put under enough stress to figure out if they are ready for some kind of battle.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline stellarpanther

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2014, 17:28:45 »
I often find it ridiculous when people talk about universality of service.  For example, someone in a purple trade may never touch a ruck sack or march one step during their entire career depending on where they are posted however someone else in the exact same trade could get released possible if they continued to fail these tests.  I think there should be some fairness.

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2014, 18:41:13 »
I often find it ridiculous when people talk about universality of service.  For example, someone in a purple trade may never touch a ruck sack or march one step during their entire career depending on where they are posted however someone else in the exact same trade could get released possible if they continued to fail these tests.  I think there should be some fairness.

Could be someone thinking the bar should be set towards what we may face deployed overseas instead of an 8-4 career in a CFB.
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Offline stellarpanther

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2014, 20:08:54 »
Could be someone thinking the bar should be set towards what we may face deployed overseas instead of an 8-4 career in a CFB.

I understand but if it's going to be universal then shouldn't it be the same requirement for everyone regardless of where they are posted?  The RMS Clerk in Edmonton for example shouldn't be required to complete different tests in order to stay employed while the RMS clerk in Borden does nothing other than a FORCE test.


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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2014, 20:16:32 »
I often find it ridiculous when people talk about universality of service.  For example, someone in a purple trade may never touch a ruck sack or march one step during their entire career depending on where they are posted however someone else in the exact same trade could get released possible if they continued to fail these tests.  I think there should be some fairness.

And yet if we end up in a giant shooting match somewhere that person could be expected to do all those things.

I'm a Snr NCO ACISS. If I'm firing a M72 at something, we're in a world of hurt, but best believe I pay attention and make sure I know the drills every year for IBTS.

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 21:29:55 »
I realize this thread is old, but is anybody tracking if the IBTS PAM has been updated with the Load Bearing March yet? And what that entails?

We have had someone thunder in on the 13km and before moving forward someone pondered that the new Load Bearing March didn't have a time limit attached to it. I have never heard this before but without knowing if the old BFT time limit is in play or whether there is a new LBM format we are supposed to have followed its hard to move forward on this.

On that note, is there any centralized place where I can find the most recent editions of all PAMs? One where I know that the version being presented is the version currently in use?

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2015, 22:13:19 »
If you want it standardized then great, but pushing/marching ones body weight is not necessarily a standard.  A 60kg person carrying 30kg extra is far from a 100kg person carrying an extra 30kg.

While I agree it shouldn't give fat guys a break, it shouldn't give scrawny guys a break either; which brings females into the mix now too. 

With the diversity of persons in this world and the variety of ways to test fitness/strength, a standard is not achievable and no large group will ever agree.

I will have to disagree with you here Gny. A GPMG weighs 11kg without ammunition or the SF kit. This does not change if a scrawny individual or female has to carry it, and the reason I am dead set against "differential" standards regardless of how "scientific" they are is the plain fact that kit, ammunition, water etc. does not magically change mass when someone else is manipulating it.

In fact, differential testing and standards could leave me in the situation where only the small person is left and we need to take the GPMG. Do I leave it behind because soldier "X" passed the lesser test but is unable to shoulder the mass of the weapon? I'd frankly leave solider "X" behind before I go into the fight without the GPMG. Suggestions like "well, soldier "Y" can carry the GPMG" miss the point; how is it effective man management to constantly saddle the same small cadre with the most difficult and demanding tasks because the others are simply not physically capable?

So in my mind, for the standards to be valid, they have to reflect the real world conditions that are being faced. If the job entails carrying 30kg of kit (including section and platoon stores), then everyone needs to carry 30kg, and be able to move together as a unit (having to wait around while the person bearing the SF kit catches up is also going to have negative consequences).

Given the increasing emphasis on unconventional warfare (including constructs like Hybrid War, "Unrestricted Warfare", "Next Generation War", 4GW etc.), to say that the RMS clerk is never going to have to face these conditions is frighteningly ignoring the new realities. It is far more likely the RMS clerk is more likely to face attack, since logistics and administration are high value/high payoff targets.
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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2015, 15:53:18 »
I will have to disagree with you here Gny. A GPMG weighs 11kg without ammunition or the SF kit. This does not change if a scrawny individual or female has to carry it, and the reason I am dead set against "differential" standards regardless of how "scientific" they are is the plain fact that kit, ammunition, water etc. does not magically change mass when someone else is manipulating it.

I don't think he was saying that at all:
Quote
While I agree it shouldn't give fat guys a break, it shouldn't give scrawny guys a break either;
Now I am SAS or SWAT dude ;-)
see:
Quote from: RHFC_piper ink=topic=51916.msg617784#msg617784 date=1190404708

The 'pana" is a play on the Greek 'pan' meaning 'all' or 'encompassing' - not quite but similar to UBIQUE
some think I just misspelled "para" :-)

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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2015, 16:38:38 »
I realize this thread is old, but is anybody tracking if the IBTS PAM has been updated with the Load Bearing March yet? And what that entails?

We have had someone thunder in on the 13km and before moving forward someone pondered that the new Load Bearing March didn't have a time limit attached to it. I have never heard this before but without knowing if the old BFT time limit is in play or whether there is a new LBM format we are supposed to have followed its hard to move forward on this.

The IBTS PAM has not been updated.  The Army Op Plan only states that Physical Fitness Testing will consist of a 13 KM LBM and casualty drag to be completed.  No mention of time.

You can likely cite a member for performance issues for failing to achieve IBTS if they cannot complete the march.

Quote
On that note, is there any centralized place where I can find the most recent editions of all PAMs? One where I know that the version being presented is the version currently in use?

Army Electronic Library.  It's a sharepoint version now and is on the DWAN.
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Re: Load Bearing March (the post BFT Army) - A split thread
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 20:14:01 »
The IBTS PAM has not been updated.  The Army Op Plan only states that Physical Fitness Testing will consist of a 13 KM LBM and casualty drag to be completed.  No mention of time.

You can likely cite a member for performance issues for failing to achieve IBTS if they cannot complete the march.

Army Electronic Library.  It's a sharepoint version now and is on the DWAN.

Thanks, found that stuff today, very happy we are working off live documents more and more these days.

The IBTS PAM states that Fitness IS2 is the "Load Bearing March" as per the Army Fitness Manual. The Army Fitness Manual defines the LBM as "13km, xx kg, blah blah blah, to be completed in 2h 26m," so there is still a time limit.

The member completed the march but did not complete it in the required time unfortunately. When the BFT was an actual physical fitness standard, the good book dictated that this would result in an Initial Counselling. Now that it is an IBTS, an IC is no longer dictated, and its more of a command decision. Given the member's circumstances we are not using formal Remedial Measures but a 5b PDR will be issued with a plan put in place to ensure they are given the opportunity to improve and pass in 3 months time, and it will be made clear that a failure in 3 months time will very likely result in an Initial Counselling.

Cheers
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 20:38:21 by ballz »
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
- Helen Keller