Karim Malek, director of the Iowa Institute of Technology and Virtual Military Research, spoke at the Iowa Institute of Engineering Research in Iowa on Wednesday. UI researchers have tested a new fitness test for US troops using volunteers and two virtual soldiers. (Rebekah F. Miller / The Newspaper)

Army ROTC cadet Kylie Liechtenstein uses a medicine ball to demonstrate an Army combat fitness practice at the Iowa Institute of Engineering Research in Iowa on Wednesday. (Rebekah F. Miller / The Newspaper)

Caleb Slater, an Army ROTC card, wore an infrared node cap to allow researchers to record biometric data while practicing the new Army Combat Exercise. UI researchers studied six exercises replacing the old test with three measurements: Pushps, Citps, and 2-Mile Running. (Rebekah F. Miller / The Newspaper)

Iowa City – For 40 and 40 years, the U.S. military has evaluated the physical fitness of its troops, their seats, and their 2-mile running test. But the army wanted a better measure of “military physical readiness.”

And now he has it, thank you – in part – for the University of Iowa.

A.D. In 2019, the Army chose the UI Institute of Technology and the Virtual Military Research Program to conduct the newly designed six-part Army Combat Fitness Test for independent third-party certification.

Karim Malek, director of the Iowa Institute of Technology and UI Virtual Military Research, said:

“How? Because of the Santos program,” said Malak, referring to the imaginary soldier he created. We have this incredible, unique situation that is unparalleled in the United States. ”

UI researchers, in the first phase of their review, have been accused of evaluating the Army’s “Physical Fitness Standards Study” – which was conducted to determine the physical needs of veterans – by announcing the success of the new fitness test.

The university confirmed that it had assessed the physical needs of the army in combat exercises and joint military operations. The old three-function fitness test confirmed a poor assessment of fitness for those exercises and activities. And he realized that the new fitness test would do a better job of predicting “combat performance.”

“The University of Iowa (study of readiness standards) was conducted by a well-trained scientific team and the military team.

That new test – which began with a review of 23 fitness tests and expanded to six – includes a variety of fitness metrics, including muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, agility, coordination, strength, speed and balance.

Exercises that the soldiers are currently measuring include lifting, kicking, standing power throwing, hand-pulling push-ups, 2-mile running, and running-pulling.

The Army Combat Fitness Test will be the branch’s record-breaking test in 2020 and will be fully implemented in April 2022.

How testing works

In the second verification phase, the UI Institute of Technology – with the help of its virtual soldiers, Santos and Sophia – has tested six new fitness skills to predict the strength of a soldier’s combat skills.

Using sensors mounted on a jumper similar to the one used for the Avatar film, UI researchers collected information from Army ROTC cadres on military operations – such as dragging objects and marching through windows and barriers.

They then collected information from cadets performing the new fitness skills – to compare them with war-situation needs.

At first, it was difficult to hire volunteers – for many, participation means completing a full fitness test, ”said Chris Murphy, virtual military program application manager.

Murphy: “I think they really thought we were going to do the right thing. “So when they get here, we tell them it’s not our job to weaken you. We do this once in a while to get the activity. Then I put it in Santos, and Santos is the one who is tired.

By uploading the movement and combat data to their virtual military system and then assigning Santos strength requirements and actions, UI researchers will be able to determine if “the successful completion of combat operations is related to the strength required to perform combat operations.”

“Modeling ensures an experience spectrum to accurately measure the limits of physical requirements,” according to the UI review.

What’s next?

The third phase of fitness coordination with the military began with the UI Institute of Technology evaluating the results of repetitive activities – muscle strength, fatigue, and energy expenditure.

Vanessa Miller covers The Higher Education.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com