An Army contractor accidentally published “pre-decisional” information to the internet about potential changes to the Army Combat Fitness Test as April 1 — the date previously set for record fitness test implementation — draws nearer.

Army spokesperson Col. Cathy Wilkinson said in a statement to Army Times that the mistake happened “in the course of working a refresh to an microsite,” emphasizing that the inadvertently leaked plan has “not been approved by the Secretary of the Army” yet.

Sometime during the weekend, the Army’s official ACFT website was updated to remove the leg tuck event and replace it with the plank. The information was posted sometime after Friday morning, according to the Internet Archive, and was removed on Sunday morning.

The site also said the ACFT would become the service’s official test of record on April 1, with it counting for active duty and Active Guard Reserve personnel actions effective October 1. Traditional part-time Reserve and Guard troops would have until April 1, 2023, to complete a record ACFT, the site said.

Moving forward, active duty troops would be required to pass two tests per fiscal year, and Guard and Reserve members would have to pass one.

Lawmakers had previously directed the service to halt its implementation of the fitness test and conduct an independent review, which was recently completed by RAND.

Members of Congress were concerned about the test’s potential impact on women’s career advancement, in addition to the impact on reservists and those in far-flung geographic areas.

As a result, the ACFT, which has been in pilot form since early 2019, has been in limbo for more than a year, while the service has lacked a record fitness test.

“Army senior leaders are reviewing the report’s findings and recommendations and will announce a final decision on the ACFT and release the report at the appropriate time,” Wilkinson said.

She apologized for any confusion caused by the accidental website update.

“Once the Secretary of the Army makes the final decision on the Army’s fitness test, the Army’s priority is to clearly communicate the test of record and the timeline for implementation to the Total Force,” Wilkinson added.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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