FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets of D Co., 8th Regiment of CLC participated in the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) at Otto Gym July 11.
Unlike the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) the OPAT is not gender specific, nor does it have time limits and rep amounts to reach across the board. Instead, the OPAT is Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) specific, meaning that physical requirements will vary depending on the exact job one has.
“For Cadets, this will determine what MOS or branch that they’re going to take. That’ll be a determining factor,” said Sgt. Jessica Gaspar, who has helped conduct every OPAT held at Fort Knox this summer.
There are four parts to the OPAT, each targeted at establishing fitness and power levels. The seated throw, long jump, interval aerobics test, and deadlift are all evaluated to determine where Cadets’ strengths and weaknesses are. Each component of the test comes with its own procedures and standards; the deadlift, for example, maxes out at 220 pounds and the interval aerobic test, which consists of running between marked points within a certain time frame, last around 22 minutes. Cdt. Gavriella Siman-Tov says she already knows which areas came easiest to her, and which were harder.
“Personally deadlift was easiest. I got a 210 out of 220 so I was okay with that. But with what actually measures your strength and what you can actually practice, without height or weight being a consideration, is the deadlift and run,” she said, referring to which section of the test she believed was easiest. “But pushing a ball out, it’s hard to practice that, and the same thing with jumping.”
Safety is also important, as it is ensured Cadets are in proper form and have received instruction before heavy weight lifting. Correct equipment, including reflective belts and workout uniforms with reflective surfaces were worn, and cool down stations and water weren’t far. After all, training the world’s best military means taking care of it too.