Updated: 06/26/2014 02:14 | By Agence France-Presse

Philippine military cuts 'life-threatening' run tests

Most armies pride themselves on pushing soldiers to their physical limits in preparation for combat. 


Philippine military cuts 'life-threatening' run tests

Philippine soldiers in camouflage take positions as they execute a mock assault during a live fire exercise in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila on May 10, 2014 - by Ted Aljibe

But in the Philippines, senior officers have decided a two-mile run could be "life-threatening" to troops, and have shortened a fitness test to compensate.

The timed run forms a key part of the twice-yearly fitness examination for all soldiers, but from next month the apparently deadly distance will be reduced to a safer two kilometres, military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala said.

The change was instituted as three officers have collapsed and died doing the fitness tests since 2010, according to a military commissioned health study that recommended the shorter runs, according to Zagala.

"The technical working group found out that after two kilometres they (soldiers) can fall victim to heart attack or stroke," he said.

One of those who died was a marine officer who ran the old distance in 16 minutes, Zagala said.

All the time limits are determined by the troops' ages, with the youngest soldiers required to run the two kilometres within 12 minutes, according to Zagala. 

Officers who fail the test will not be given command assignments, while failure for ordinary soldiers could be cause for dismissal from the service, he added.

Zagala insisted that, despite the seemingly short distance and slow times required, the fitness test was in line with other nations.

He said four neighbouring Southeast Asian countries had also decided to implement shorter runs in their fitness tests, with Indonesian troops running the longest at 2.4 kilometres.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。