Hundreds of Armys senior commanders flop in fitness tests as others dodge exam

Hundreds of senior Army chiefs have failed basic fitness tests.

Almost 300 top brass flunked simple physical assessments. And another 2,500 dodged annual fitness tests, documents obtained by this paper show.

It comes days after Army head General Sir Patrick Sanders said troops must be ready to face Russia on the battlefield.

Former Army sergeant and Military Cross winner Trevor Coult said officers who failed the tests should be sacked.

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The 47-year Iraq veteran added: “I wouldn’t want to follow an officer into battle who was unfit and couldn’t pass something this basic.” All troops must complete the Soldier Conditioning Review every two years. It features a horizontal jump, medicine ball throw, deadlift, five 20m sprints, pull-ups, and a 2km run.

They must also pass an annual fitness test. But a source said: “Senior officers are very busy people and frankly it’s too easy to say, ‘I can’t do this assessment, I’ve got too much work on’.

“If they’re failing they are probably very unfit and overweight – these are very basic tests.” An Army spokesman said: “These ­figures do not represent a true picture of Army fitness levels due to a pause in ­physical testing during the pandemic and a change in the way we assess fitness. We continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all our ­personnel and ­offer dedicated support to anyone who needs additional physical training to fulfil their role.”

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