OPAT Impressions

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jkaz, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Jkaz

    Jkaz Member

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    Took the OPAT along with a few other classmates that are branching Infantry/Armor this past Friday and thought I'd post to share insights and answer any questions. It was administered just like an APFT, with demonstrations, and timed rests between events.

    I had no prior experience with any of the events and it was my first time doing them, except deadlift.

    Long jump and medicine ball, I posted my highest distance for both on the second try and it all comes down to technique.

    The long jump takes some coordination if you get the technique down of leaping, then bringing your knees forward and landing on your heels.

    The medicine ball again, throw to low or too high and you won't get your max distance. The medicine ball is an explosive, fast twitch movement. One cadet, who also hadn't tried the event before, on his practice throws was hitting roughly 5m, then increased to ~6.5m on his recorded attempts based off advice from cadre about being as explosive as possible. Again, all technique.

    The deadlift. Only way to get better is by doing it, properly. Fortunately the use of the hex bar is way easier in my opinion than a straight bar. All 7 cadets hit the 220lbs weight with no problems.

    The beep test: Working on fast turn around and not trying to over anticipate the beep. Toward level 7-8 is where it starts to become difficult. At some points I caught myself, not properly timed and leaning forward to anticipate the beep, then I'd hesitate and start to withdraw, then the beep would go off. Again this was only happening in about 1/4th of a second, but it killed my momentum. Don't do this.

    If there are any specific questions people have about the test, how its administered I can try to help any way possible. Some MSIII cadets are taking it tomorrow at PT and I can post observations from a larger pool as well.

    Hope this helps, and it's nothing to worry about. All of the events can be practiced and improved through targeted workouts, just like doing more push-ups for the APFT.


    Scores for reference:
    Long Jump: 256 cm
    Medicine ball toss: 7.5m
    Deadlift: completed all weight levels.
    Beep test: Level 12, iteration 5. (ie 12.5)
     
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  2. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Wow - yours was much more serious than ours.

    All of the MSL III's did this morning.

    It was a lot more relaxed for us. Cadre went through and demonstrated each event - we weren't officially tested/recorded.

    We just went through each event moreso just to familiarize us with them.

    And in case any doesn't know - there are only 4 events: deadlift, standing long jump (as in you jump from a stationary position - not like traditionally done in track & field), seated medicine ball throw, and the beep test.

    The only one we actually went through in its entirety was the deadlift.

    Cadre did say that this will be conducted down at CLC this summer. Though - they are not sure whether it will play in to accessions (even then, not sure how they will since there's no set standards, since we are setting the standards - but you know, CC and their magic formulas).
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Just out of curiosity... what is the purpose of this test? And what are the measurements being used for?
     
  4. ilanag3

    ilanag3 Member

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    So does everyone have to take it? I'm starting ROTC next year, so I was just wondering.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It is an added dimension to the APFT for those that are requesting Infantry/Armor. I believe they will be using the results as part of the metric for branch selection into Infantry/Armor. Once they come up with some set standards.
     
  6. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    I have my suspicions about a physical qualification test for the combat arms that doesn't include push-ups, pull-ups, or an endurance run.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    They are still required to take the APFT, the OPAT is an additional test for Infantry and Armor.
     
  8. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    But there are still two standards for APFT, right. So, a female could ace the lesser female APFT and then pass the "gender-neutral" OPAT, that doesn't include push-ups or pull-ups, and qualify for Infantry? Or, am I not understanding this correctly?
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    From what I've read, you're understanding it correctly.

    That does bring up a question I've wondered since you brought up female cadets that access to Infantry and Armor. Will they be scored on the male APFT scale for purposes of grading while at IBOLC and ABOLC. I believe I read that females will need to pass the male APFT with a qualifying score to move into Ranger School, someone would need to confirm that.
     
  10. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    I am really worried that they are setting the bar low for entry. What happens when that "low bar" soldier gets to a unit, where there is an established and rigorous training regimen of rucks, long runs, smoke sessions, etc? What if they can't hack it at the established level, or get injured and are on profile frequently?

    I've asked infantry vets what happened to such a male (had poor PT scores, slowed the unit down, was on profile frequently, etc) in the pre-female infantry days. They basically said such dudes were first given "extra PT with an NCO that didn't want to be there (and made you pay for his waste of time)." Then, if they still couldn't hack it, they "found another line of work" in the army. Peer Pressure was real. Does this same standard now get applied to females or does the training regimen change to accommodate them? Will similar peer pressure to perform at a certain physical level now be deemed sexual harassment?
     
  11. AJC

    AJC Member

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    There was a link to an Army video, previously posted, that described the rational for each of the events in the OPAT.
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    That Army is long gone my friend.

    The days of "wall to wall counseling" and "extra PT" are over. The current Army has become a lot more politically correct filled with a ton of SHARP/EO training (not saying it's bad).

    .... it's a new Army.
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Just remember, before you jump to the conclusion that the Army and military itself has gone completely soft, you have yet to leave the warm embrace of ROTC and college. It's not all Drum Circles and Kumbaya yet.
     
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  14. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    No, perhaps not. But from talking to my friends and family who are in, it's definitely quite a big difference from 10-20+ years ago.
     
  15. Jkaz

    Jkaz Member

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    From the information I was given. It is a commissioning requirement to take it for cadets FY 17 and above. FY 16 cadets, like myself, are only required to take it if they are branching Infantry/Armor. The rest of the FY 16 cadets will take it as a BOLC graduation requirement.

    Still no scoring that I have heard of, but rumor has it that there will be tiers, and in order to qualify for a certain MOS you need to hit a certain tier within the OPAT. Again only a rumor.
     

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