The Army has updated its Physical Readiness Training, or PRT, mobile app for soldiers preparing to take the new Army Combat Fitness Test this year.
The free updated app offers soldiers a collection of exercises, tailors PT programs to their personal needs and allows them to calculate test scores, said Lt. Col. David Feltwell, Center for Initial Military Training physical therapist, in an Army news release.
The release said that the updated app will safeguard users’ personal information, noting the recent Army ban on using TikTok — a popular Chinese social media app that drew scrutiny from lawmakers this fall — on government devices.
Individuals looking to download the updated app can search “Army PRT” on Google Play, the Apple App Store and similar digital venues. There is an official Army logo at the bottom right of the app’s icon.
Sec. McCarthy was asked whether the Army “conducted an analysis of alternative recruiting platforms prior to its decision to leverage TikTok?”
Following the app’s guidance, which includes walk-through videos performed by drill sergeants, can cut down on the risk of injuries from new exercises like dead-lifts, according to the Army. The app also allows soldiers to customize their workouts to their specific needs with minimal equipment.
“For example, if someone needs to work on their leg tucks — or, if they’ve never even done one — the app has specific programs available to help them score a hundred points on the event,” Feltwell said. “There are potentially millions of different fitness solutions to accommodate the majority of soldiers.”
The app comes as the Army began issuing $70 million worth of equipment to units across the force, Maj. Gen. Lonnie G. Hibbard, commander of CIMT, previously said. The ACFT entered a service-wide test phase this October and will transition to the physical test of record in October 2020.
“The Army recognizes the importance of creating a Physical Readiness Training app that gives soldier’s another reference point to access anytime, anywhere," Hibbard said in the release. “Soldiers are our greatest asset, and we at CIMT kept their safety and Operational Security as our highest priority in developing this application.”
The service also warned in the release about the risk of using third-party mobile apps, which may not safeguard user data.
That risk is increased when by apps that ask for and reveal a soldiers’ sensitive information, to include their job and base location. The updated app is approved by the Department of Defense and regularly tested to prevent malicious actors from gaining access, the release said.