Home' Army News : June 9th 2011 Contents 4 CULTURAL AWARENESS DAY
Army June 9, 2011
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
WITHIN 18 months Army per-
sonnel will be sweating it out
proving their fitness during new
trade-specific AIRN and combat
The tests will be introduced
when an extensive Physical
Employment Standards (PES)
review project is completed.
The PES project has assessed
22 Army corps and the employ-
ment categories within them to
see what physical demands are
required for personnel to work
within those roles regardless of
age or gender.
DGPers-A Brig Gerard
Fogarty said Army and its
employment category manag-
ers had been working with the
Defence Science and Technology
Organisation since 2006 to devel-
op a better understanding of the
physical requirements for Army's
"Army already knows the
intellectual requirements for each
trade and after the PES project we
will know what the exact physical
requirements are by the end of
next year," Brig Fogarty said.
"Decisions for enlistment
based on age and gender will
become irrelevant and Army will
enlist people into trades who pos-
sess the required intellectual and
"By enlisting people into the
right jobs, Army will be far more
Early results from the PES
project indicate all personnel per-
form common tasks as part of
their Army jobs.
"There are also other physi-
cal tasks performed only by our
specialists and there are specific
physical tasks that are only per-
formed by personnel who operate
in a close combat environment,"
Brig Fogarty said.
"There are clearly differ-
ent physical standards across our
will change soon
Job fit: The Physical Employment Standards review project aims to develop practical fitness testing
standards based on job requirements rather than age or gender.
By Cpl Zenith King
THE Are You An Australian Soldier?
awareness DVD produced for the
stand down was requested by the
CA's office in response to recent
reports of unacceptable behaviour
and use of social media in Defence.
Army Brand Management,
under the direction of Strategic
Brand Coordinator -- Army, Rebecca
Constance, was tasked to develop a
video based on the core themes of 'I'm
an Australian Soldier'. The presentation
needed to address unacceptable behav-
iour in a language and style that would
resonate with the target audience.
"The concept we developed was
intended to make diggers challenge
their belief system, in that their actions
have consequences not just for them
but their mates, other soldiers, and
their families," Ms Constance said.
"The presentation had to be in a
style that would actively engage the
young diggers in follow-on discus-
sion and not just be another boring
"It is important for our organisa-
tion, at all levels, to understand that
our values of courage, initiative and
teamwork are what bind us together
and allow us to operate effectively and
efficiently. Engaging in unacceptable
behaviour undermines these values and
our capabilities and it is important for
our soldiers to remind each other of
The video was made using a com-
bination of video and animation with
Spr Nicholas Wiseman as the lead
multimedia technician on the project.
"I provided all the animations
within the video as well as cutting
and treating the majority of the video
clips used throughout the product," Spr
"Video was filmed from various
unit locations at Puckapunyal, Victoria
Barracks and Russell Offices. Post
production was done from Army
Learning Production Centre, Sydney."
Three hundred DVDs were pro-
duced and sent out to all Army units
within Australia and operational areas.
Spr Wiseman said he believed in
the message in the product. "I person-
ally don't have the time for people who
continue to give Army a bad name with
foolish behaviour and those who do lose
all respect and don't belong within our
Defence Force," he said.
Spr Wiseman said he enjoyed
working on the video, which took two
and a half days of shooting and about
four weeks of post production.
"Most of the time was spent in post
production, cutting and mixing video/
audio, generation of imagery and ani-
mation work," he said.
"Working on post production
allowed me to use skills I've learnt
within the multimedia trade and the
fact that this video was then shown to
Army as a whole has illustrated what
we do as a trade."
The DVD is available on the DRN. Go to iArmy
at http://teamweb/army/iarmy/ and select
'Are you an Australian Soldier' from the drop
down box on the right. It can also be down-
loaded from the CA web site at http://intranet.
defence.gov.au/armyweb/sites/CA/ and can be
ordered as a DVD from http://alpc/products/
DVD captures soldier
attitudes on behaviour
trades, but our current fitness tests
don't reflect these differences."
As a result of the PES review,
AIRN fitness testing requirements
will change and will consist of
four individual tests.
"BFAs and CFAs will be even-
tually replaced by a measurement
which more accurately reflects
the physical standards required of
trades in a combat environment,"
Brig Fogarty said.
"Each of the four new tests
will address a key human perfor-
The tests will include a forced
march to demonstrate aerobic
capacity, a box lift to demonstrate
absolute muscular strength, a fire
and movement activity-based
assessment to demonstrate anaero-
bic capacity and a lift and carry
assessment to demonstrate muscu-
Brig Fogarty said the tests
would have different standards
based on the specific requirements
of each trade.
"Trials throughout the country
are still being run to ensure the
practical implications are iden-
tified and to make sure they are
accurate and safe," he said.
"We need to also decide how
and when they will be introduced,
how personnel will access equip-
ment such body armour to con-
duct the tests and how candidates
will be screened at recruiting.
"As personnel progress
through the ranks, in their trade,
we know physical requirements
often reduce and the final test will
need to reflect this."
Brig Fogarty said there was
still a lot of work to do before
implementation could commence.
"When we are finished, all sol-
diers and officers will be required
to demonstrate they are capable
of meeting the new standards to
achieve proficiency in their trade
and therefore be AIRN compli-
ant," he said.
"Everyone will be given ample
time to understand and train for
the new standards.
"They will be introduced over
the next 18 months based on capa-
bility, not on age or gender."
The DVD is available at http://teamweb/
Opinions on change
Cpl Stuart Heeney, 3RAR, Holsworthy Barracks
I think the current physical standards in Army are
too easy and they don't reflect what is required in
the battlespace. You'll never have to run 2.4km in PT
gear in a battle and no one cares how many push
ups you can do. It's about whether you can climb
over a wall wearing 30kg of body armour, with a
weapon and think under pressure. I think new physi-
cal standards will be good for infantry because it
will identify who is not suitable to work in the job. It
will strengthen units and the Army. As for the gen-
der issue of allowing women to join combat corps,
I think is a bad idea. No matter how physically and
intellectually capable a woman is to be an infantry
soldier, you cannot put a woman into an infantry call
sign. It will change the dynamics [of the call sign] due
to human nature. Blokes will be more interested in
impressing women than focusing on their job.
Gnr Sarah Hodgson, 16 AD Regt, Woodside
I feel women should be allowed to work in all of
Army's jobs, but even now the physical standards
for a woman to enter and stay in the Army are lower
than what a man's are. I think this is wrong and
believe men and women should have the same phys-
ical requirements if they are in the same job. Even in
my job as an air defender we have to pass the Army
BFA, where the female level is lower than the male
level and a regimental fitness assessment where the
fitness levels for women are the same as the men.
LCpl Richard Robinson, Directorate Officer
Career Management, Russell Officers
I'm all for changing standardisation, fairness and tak-
ing away the gender issues with fitness assessments.
If you can do the job then why not let everyone do
the job they want to do. It should only change if they
[Army] get the process right so there aren't any
teething problems with assessing people later on.
Bdr Kyle Golding, 16 AD Regt, Woodside
I fully agree with making physical tests more specific
to each job, as each job is different and requires a
specific physical standard. It's great combat corps
will have their own personalised, job-specific fitness
programs and assessments. I think if females can
reach the fitness standards and do a job then they
should be allowed to do it.
Pte Alexander Coe, 8/9RAR, Gallipoli Barracks
It's great to see they are changing the physical tests
and it will weed out the soldiers who shouldn't be in
the infantry. If all corps can pass a BFA that's good,
but it doesn't mean all corps are fit enough to be
infantry. Having fitness levels specific to each job is a
Cpl Amy Chesson, HQ 7 Bde, Gallipoli Barracks
As a clerk I came out of the presentation wanting to
know more information because I'd like to know what
the standards will be for me. It's a good idea they will
now concentrate on soldier skills for fitness rather
than just running around a track. The new tests will
be more relevant to our jobs as we are soldiers first
before our trade and brings into context we are going
to begin physical training relating to being a soldier.
All levels: Army HQ personnel watch the
Are You An Australian Soldier? presentation
(DVD cover inset) in a conference room at
Russell Offices in Canberra.Photo by LS Paul Berry
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