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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2020

Revamped app to help Soldiers excel

By Senior Airman Monica Roybal 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Members assigned to the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training partnered with developers to update the Physical Readiness Training app, which aims to provide a comprehensive guide for Soldiers to follow while preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. 

The free PRT app was initially launched more than two years ago, but CIMT members worked to update the system to more accurately reflect new ACFT standards and serve as an accessible model for Soldiers’ routine workouts. 

“Everything is on your phone now. Every time you go to the gym, no matter who you are, you’re using fitness apps and trackers,” said Megan Reed, CIMT deputy director of Public Affairs. “So we wanted to give Soldiers a central repository, not only for information about the ACFT, but ways to best train and to be successful at the ACFT.”

App features include:

  • An ACFT and Army Physical Fitness Test score calculator
  • A body composite calculator
  • A run timer
  • A metronome
  • Detailed daily and weekly training schedules for individual workouts and unit workouts
  • Guides for proper form and technique
  • References for exercises and manuals

The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Reed explained that while CIMT is focused on Soldiers’ fitness success, leaders and developers worked to ensure app security, recognizing the importance of Soldiers not using third-party apps that could potentially be data-mining their personal information.

“We want Soldiers to make sure they stay safe and protect their personal information through their phones and we also want Soldiers to have a free app,” Reed continued. “There will never be any in-app charges and these programs are nested within a scientifically-backed doctrine.”

App developers also prioritized accuracy so Soldiers can rely on results provided by the various app tools. 

“Device safety is typically the focus of mobile," said Matt MacLaughlin, Mobile Division, Army Distributed Learning Program, Army University chief. “There are those considerations, but there are also the considerations of accuracy of information within the app. For example, a [operational toolset] calculator. If [the developer] doesn't take the time to properly make sure the calculations within the app are correct before it is developed, that could [hurt] Airmen, Soldiers and Marines as easily as the cybersecurity aspect of it.”

The PRT app’s variety of workouts can help Soldiers in large units as well as Soldiers who may be on special duty assignments, such as recruiters who may not participate in traditional unit physical training. 

“If Soldiers use this app, follow the training regimens and continue to follow all the tenets of holistic health and fitness with nutrition, sleep and mental health readiness, this could help them during the ACFT,” Reed said. “Our Soldiers are our main priority and their safety and security will always be our main mission so we want to make sure while we’re helping them train, we’re also protecting them and operational security.”

Developers will continue to work with CIMT members and update the app as needed. A new update is scheduled to become available in March.