Army Secretary Nominee Worries the ACFT Will Push Too Many Women Out

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'President Joe Biden's nominee to be the next secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, told senators at her confirmation hearing Thursday she is concerned about the force's new fitness test and whether it will push a significant number of women out of the service.

"I have concerns on the implications of the test for our ability to continue to retain women," said Wormuth, who would be the first woman to serve in the role if confirmed.

She said the Army needs a good measure of fitness, but strict fitness standards across the board could shrink the service's talent pool for critical jobs that do not demand athletic ability, such as cyberwarfare roles.

Gillibrand, who chairs the personnel subcommittee, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., ushered a measure through last year suspending official implementation of the ACFT until the Rand study is complete.

"The ACFT, as it currently stands, lowers standards and expectations for young, male soldiers while setting unrealistic standards for others, including those with fewer physical responsibilities such as medical personnel, judge advocates, or cyber warriors," the two senators said in a joint letter to Armed Services Committee leadership in October. "This test runs counter to the Army's new talent strategy that aims to create a 21st century talent management system."'

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