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Can I be separated from service for failing a PT if my chain of command failed to properly execute thier duties and responsibilities?

Top I really need your expertise. I failed my 1st APFT. Then I passed the 2nd one but leadership then told me it was diagnostic. I took another APFT a week after and passed but Unit Leadership nullified the test because some Soldiers complained they ran extra lap. I then had to take another APFT in which I ended up running in the snow and I failed my run by 16sec. My commander has initiated chapter process but i have not signed any paperwork yet. I have asked to talk to him but I have not gotten a response from my chain of command. What should I do?


AR 350-1, para F-5k, “A repetitive APFT failure occurs when a Soldier fails a record test, <strong>is provided adequate time and assistance to condition</strong><em> (not to exceed 90 days), and fails again.” [emphasis added]

If yourrr second APFT was declared a diagnostic it had to be declared prior to the start of the test  (AR 350-1, APPX F-5l(1): (1) Commanders may administer the APFT as often as they wish; however, they must specify beforehand when the APFT is for record.) 

If the second “for record” APFT you failed was due to the run being conducted in the snow or slick conditions, then you have an argument it was an invalid test based upon, (FM 7-22, APPENDIX A – Planning – “Weather and environmental conditions do not inhibit physical performance.”)

If the Soldier was not provided assistance and the opportunity to improve their conditioning between record tests, then there is an issue with taking the test so close together

Additionally, if you passed the “for record” test that they say was nullified due to the run being an extra lap, then you also have an argument that you passed a “for record” test.

Points of Concern

  • Did you receive adequate time to prepare and recover between APFTs?
  • Was the diagnostic APFT announced after the APFT? If so that was incorrect because it must be stated beforehand
  • If you ran in the snow and did not pass it can be argued that you failed based on environmental conditions and the command did not follow FM 7-22

Points to Consider

  • It is best to solve problems at the lowest level possible.  Seeking an audience with your unit 1SG and/or Commander is a logical choice
  • If you do not receive fair treatment you can take the issue to Battalion.
  • If they insist on separation action speak with your attorney immediately.

Hope this helps.


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posted on 06/27/2018 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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