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Ryan  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 1:18:53 AM(UTC)
BigVette

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I'm a former Marine and I'm trying to understand some of these Agencies physical fitness standards for their Special Agents.

Now other than the inherent physical training a SA receives at the FLETC or at NAT, do I understand correctly that most of these agencies such as even the FBI and DEA who require physical fitness tests for initial qualification, do not subsequently require annual PFT's once you graduate training?

I'm guessing that the intent is to instill upon the individual the discipline necessary to maintain a fit physical fitness level throughout the career of the Special Agent, which quite frankly can be rather sedentary at times?

And along those same points, why do some agencies require a PFT to be accepted into training while others do not? Is this just to further filter out candidates like the military occasionally does with pilot candidates when they get more applicants than flight slots available? Are these PFT scores used to select one candidate over another or is it just pass or fail?

I also find it interesting that like with the FBI PFT for example, they are still using situps. When I was in the Marines they switched from the situp to the abdominal crunch because they cited far fewer injuries and a much more targeted exercise; I believe the Air Force has even since subsequently switched over to the crunch as well for the same reasons.

Also, it appears the Agencies will evidently allow for females to adhere to lower physical fitness standards then the males (the debate over physiological differences and the firefighter argument,) but they evidently do not allow for age variation like all of the military service branches do. Age 21 to 37 can yield large differences in the scoring, especially in the Army where you can enlist up to age 42.

Still, the FBI's PFT is such that you only need 12 points out of 20 to pass and quite frankly, 3 points in each of the 4 categories is not terribly difficult to achieve.

I'm just curious to others opinions, thanks for your input.
"When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty."
Scott Dickinson  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:21:38 AM(UTC)
computerscott2

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I went through the FBI PFT test and it is not that hard, IF you train. The hardness comes not in having to score 12 points, but you have to score 12 points AND score at least 1 point in each of the 4 tests. Fail to score in any 1 of the tests and you are done. I had about 5 minutes between each test to recover. FBI agents get time to work out each day because they have to be ready to leap into action when they are needed. You never know when a situation is going to turn physical or go bad. You have to be ready. You can get the PFT requirements (scores and age ranges) from the FBI's website. If you are current with your PT in the military you should not have a problem, but test your self. In my case (FBI) PFT scores were pass/fail. You only were invited to do the PFT if you passed the Phase I and Phase II tests. If you failed the PFT I believe you could retry in 60 days (may have changed). Once you get to the Academy the PFT scores can be used for awards. There is a difference for males/females but not for age. Frankly a 37 year old agent should be able to handle the same physical demands of a 23 year old agent. I mean can you imagine the radio chatter if it didn't apply? " Agents we have a situation. Only young agents need to respond. If none show up we will ask for some not so "senior" agents. If we still need more we will ask you to wheel on over in your Hover-rounds to assist". Wink
Hope this helps. I can only speak from the FBI perspective.
Ryan  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:52:09 AM(UTC)
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quote:
Originally posted by Computerscot:
Frankly a 37 year old agent should be able to handle the same physical demands of a 23 year old agent. I mean can you imagine the radio chatter if it didn't apply? " Agents we have a situation. Only young agents need to respond. If none show up we will ask for some not so "senior" agents. If we still need more we will ask you to wheel on over in your Hover-rounds to assist". Wink
Hope this helps. I can only speak from the FBI perspective.
That's interesting that you point out that difference, because the principle is the same about the differences between male and females as well; (firefighter's argument - if your house were on fire would you not want the most physically capable firefighters to help get you and your family out, or is the affirmative action recruit held to lesser physical standards who maybe can't lift the ladder, hold the hose, or carry a body out of a burning building as well acceptable to society?)

But that's not exactly my point so I won't belabor it any more, I'm just interested in other perspectives about the PT principles, thanks for sharing. I agree that the PFT is not necessarily child's play, but like you say if you train you should have little trouble in at least passing.

But like in college, what good does it do for you to cram for a test only to pass it and never expound upon the subject again? Does LEAP pertain to physical training, that would make sense if it were the case but I think a lot of agencies (some more annotative than others) expect you to work 50 hours a week and then PT on your own time.

I worked aviation maintenance in the Marines and so in training, they rode us all pretty hard. They did so under the premise that we needed to learn how to PT on our own and accept it because in the fleet, when you were busy working on the aircraft 50 to 60 hours a week, you were going to have to PT on your own time, even though your PFT is scored the same as the grunts who physically train nearly every day.

Does the FBI or any other Federal agencies require annual or semiannual PFT for their SA's? I'm sure you at least have to maintain proper height/weight standards because the image of an overweight Special Agent can surely not be favorable for either party? (One of my biggest peeves on civilian law enforcement officers sworn to protect the public - when you have to sew two uniforms together to get one around your waist, it's time to find a new occupation.)
"When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty."
Scott Dickinson  
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:50:11 AM(UTC)
computerscott2

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The agents weapons are their training, their gun, their techniques and their mind. Females can shoot just as well as some of the men and there are some female agents I would not want to be on the wrong end of an arguement with. As far as the firefighter arguement I do not think it holds as much weight with special agents as they do not necessarily handle as much physical equipment (depends on what unit you are with) as firefighters so it is not necessarily apples to apples. I never saw a female agent turn down an assignment because "I might break a nail." My wife was a volunteer firefighter and she was always ready to go to whatever call there was.
Scott Dickinson  
#5 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:52:35 AM(UTC)
computerscott2

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And I agree with your peeve of overweight civilian officers. They should hold themselves to a higher standard and not let overweight people on the force. A civilian officer will do much more physical work than a special agent, but special agents have to remain in shape.
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