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What Is a Physical Fitness Badge?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2016
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The physical fitness badge is a cloth embroidered award given to members of the US Army who receive high, qualifying scores on the physical fitness test. This test is graded in three sections which consist of an applicant performing push-ups, sit-ups, and running two miles (3.2 kilometers). Individuals who score better than 90 in each section of the test may receive this badge and wear it on their uniforms during physical training exercises.

The badge is circular in shape, containing an insignia in the center and surrounded by a medium blue and dark blue band. The center insignia features the golden shape of a human figure with arms outstretched over an emblem of the United States. The emblem features thirteen red and white stripes and six white stars on a blue background, representative of the original stars and stripes flag adopted by the American colonies during the country's founding. In dark blue, the words "Physical Fitness Excellence" are stitched around the insignia.

The Physical Fitness Badge may be worn on the physical training uniform only. This uniform consists of a regulation T-shirt or sweatshirt featuring the Army logo, worn in combination with regulation shorts or running pants. The badge must be worn on the left side of the body and centered above the breast.

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Soldiers in the army must take a physical fitness test to graduate basic training, and twice per year to remain enlisted. The test consists of three parts which measure a soldier's ability to perform push-ups, sit-ups, and run a timed 2 miles (3.2 kilometers). Each section of the test is worth 100 points towards the soldier's overall score. The recruit must receive a score of 50 or better in each portion to graduate basic training. He must score 60 or better in each area to remain enlisted, and the score must be 90 or better to qualify for the Physical Fitness Badge.

The requirements regarding push-ups, sit-ups, and running speeds are based on a soldier's age and gender. Charts are available from the US Army that detail how many repetitions an applicant must perform in one minute, and how quickly he must run two miles, to be awarded certain scores. For example, a man who is 21 years old who wishes to qualify for the Physical Fitness Badge must perform in one minute a minimum of 64 push-ups, 72 sit-ups, and run two miles in 13 minutes and 42 seconds. A woman pursuing this award of the same age must complete a minimum of 36 push-ups, 72 sit-ups, and run two miles in 16 minutes and 24 seconds.

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