The new IPPT system has arrived with a yawn.

The standards are as follows: [Link]


Predictably, it has chosen to follow blindly what other armies are doing, such as the US army. When asked about why the need to switch from pull up to push up, the answer was a dismay.

“As for the push-ups station which is new, we take reference from the US Army. And I think you will also have done your research I am sure, that some of the conscript militaries like Korea has also adopted these three stations.”

The rationale for adopting push up was not explained properly. One possible reason could be that the decision to adapt the US system was a top down directive, so that the generals just complied without a deep understanding of why the other armies are using push-ups. If other military men wear push-up bras, are we going to do the same?


The decision to include push-ups is a flawed one. What kind of combat situation would require a soldier to push unless we are going to tackle sumo wrestlers? Mindef should explain further on this point.

The implementation is also going to be subjective. What kind of push-ups will be accepted? Wide or narrow distance between the palms? Body stiff straight or can be crooked? Legs together or separated? How low does the body need to be lowered? Chest touch the floor or no count? I foresee argument with the PT instructor what would count or not.

More fundamentally, adopting push up as a test parameter that again wrongfully penalized those with larger upper body mass. A 100 kg NSmen perhaps cannot do a single push-up, but he is able to bench press a heavier load, or push a heavier object with his body weight, or carry a heavier pontoon. Don’t we need to recognise the sheer ability of such NSmen? Mindef should think deeper if they would allow alternatives to push-ups, such as weight-lifting or bench-press.


My initial impression of the NEW IPPT is that the changes are introduced in a rather haphazard manner. It worries me because I would not want our men to be guinea pigs to test out a half-baked system ill-thought through by Mindef. Over the years, it is not known how many casualties have been claimed by the IPPT.

Recapping what is taught at the OCS – leadership by example, perhaps our male MPs could try the new IPPT system so as to motivate us with their stellar results?

Kampong Boy

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