Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 04, 2013 10:42 ET

Minister MacKay Introduces Canadian Armed Forces Minimum Physical Fitness Standard

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced an updated approach to military fitness, officially called the Fitness for Operational Requirement for Canadian Armed Forces Employment (FORCE) Program. This new program more accurately represents the physical demands of military operations in the field, and better predicts a member's ability to execute tasks directly linked to physical challenges faced in operations.

"Strength and endurance are critical factors in the success of military operations. Canadian Armed Forces leadership and personnel are committed to a culture of health and physical fitness, and strive to provide those who serve Canada with the training and tools they require to be operationally ready," said Minister MacKay. "I am proud to steward in these fitness standards and to demonstrate to Canadians the dedication it takes to be a member of Canada's Armed Forces."

The FORCE Program includes two key components: the FORCE Evaluation, which is the new minimum physical fitness standard for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and will be replacing the current Canadian Forces EXPRES Test, and the supporting exercise prescription provided through the website. The four FORCE Evaluation components have been designed to accurately test CAF members' ability to complete the six common military tasks encountered on routine, domestic, and expeditionary operations. All CAF members will be tested annually and will be required to achieve one common minimum standard, regardless of age and gender.

"I am extremely pleased with both the overhaul of the Canadian Armed Forces' fitness evaluation system and the establishment of a common fitness standard," said General Tom Lawson, the Chief of the Defence Staff. "The FORCE Program is not about training to pass a fitness test; it's about training for the variety of military operations we are involved in. As members of the Canadian military, we never know where we may be called upon to serve, or what form that service will take. The FORCE Program will better help us prepare to meet our fitness readiness challenges head-on."

In a comprehensive analysis of military operational fitness, Personnel Support Program human performance scientists and fitness experts looked at more than 400 physical tasks performed by Canadian military personnel in all environments over the past 20 years.

"The new Canadian Armed Forces fitness program is more than just the fitness test. It is about an end-to-end program of all the elements of a healthy lifestyle around physical fitness," said Major-General Dave Millar, Chief of Military Personnel. "The program combines nutrition and a tailored and variable work-out regime with performance measures to monitor progress, and it is all available on-line to all Canadian Armed Forces members. It has been scientifically designed to ensure it meets the rigors of military life and will help prepare Canadian Armed Forces members to meet the challenges of service," he added.

The CAF are committed to maintaining high levels of operational effectiveness and readiness. Beginning April 1, 2013, Army, Navy and Air Force personnel will have the opportunity to attempt the new FORCE Evaluation as their annual fitness test on a trial basis. As of April 1, 2014, the FORCE Evaluation will fully replace the CAF EXPRES Test.

Notes to editor / news director: For more information on the FORCE Program:

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