seal-rachel boumanFBI agents are now required to take a fitness test. This will be the first time in 16 years. In order to protect the country appropriately, physical ability is key. Threats are present all over including those both criminal and terrorist related.

The requirement dates back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover. He implemented fitness requirements to combat obesity and other concerns related to being overweight or out of shape. More recently, the FBI director, James B. Comey, released a memo stating that the lives of others may rely on the physical agility of the agent. He went on to say that the most special agents will be able to run, shoot, and fight regardless of the role they hold. This information was first reported by the New York Times. In the times before September 11, 2001, FBI agents were much more active out in the field. However, that date in time created a shift. A greater need for defenses against terrorism became present after that significant date in history. Counterterrorism consists of more office based tasks. Nonetheless, sitting for extended periods of time leads to greater health risks. Today, many FBI agents are overweight and suffering from depression.

Beginning in October, the 13,500 FBI agents working all over the world must take the fitness test. Some feel prepared to take it now while others are looking to utilize the next few months to train. The scores of the fitness exam will make an appearance on each agent’s annual performance review.

The elements of the test include completing continuous sit-ups and pushups in addition to sprints and a 1.5 mile run. The time between these challenges will only be five minutes. The exact requirements will be dependent upon age and gender.