FORT KNOX, Ky.- First Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) Alpha Company, set out to tackle the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) this morning.
Cadets arrived to Otto Gym before daybreak. They were briefed inside the gymnasium on the four different tasks to be completed. Maj. Camille Smith led the briefing.
“This is the first summer the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Summer Training has used the OPAT. It’s used for accessions for the Cadets,” Smith said.
The Cadets had three different tests to complete inside before the Interval Aerobic Test outside. Without a time limit, the Cadets performed the standing long jump and deadlift exercise to assess their lower body strength and a seated power throw to assess their upper body strength.
Cadets needed to complete three “good” throws and jumps in order to move on to the next task. A “good” jump is determined by sticking the landing without moving their feet after landing. A “good” throw is classified as an un-arched, chest-pass that lands on the measurement mat. Cadre and OPAT committee members have recorded jumps as long as nine and a half feet, three times consecutively and throws as far as 32 feet.
When it comes to the deadlift test, Cadets start with a three-repetition warm up at 80 pounds. This allows cadre to assess Cadets’ form and make any adjustments to ensure safety during the exercise. Once the test has begun, Cadets are set to test their lower body strength.
“Ready? Lift. Down.” are the commands the Cadets must obey during this assessment. The first lift begins at 120 lbs and increases each lift. The weights increase in 20 pound increments until they reach 200 pounds, where the weight will increase by 10 pounds. Deadlifts max out at 220 pounds. Cadets only have to perform one lift at each of the weights, until they cannot lift the weight or perform each of the 11 lifts. Quite frequently, Cadets will complete each of the 11 lifts to move onto the next assessment.
After Cadets complete their three different exercises in the gymnasium, Drill Sergeants use “put your belts on” to command Cadets to the track. They do not run on the actual track, but the inner field where the Interval Aerobic Testing, also known as a shuttle run, is conducted.
Cadets are divided into two groups based upon their two mile run times. If the Cadets run a faster pace than 14 min. for two miles, they’re put in a faster pace interval test. Fourteen Cadets run at a time and the test takes up to 22 minutes to complete. A beep sounds the Cadets to make their next run in the shuttle. If a Cadet fails to reach the end line between the 20m distance, but before the next beep, they are warned. After three warnings, the Cadet is terminated from the test.
The OPAT results are recorded on a database so Cadets are able to track their future tests.