Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

New compulsory fitness program for Saudi military | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saudi Shura Council member Major General Dr. Mohamed Abu Saq informed Asharq Al-Awsat that he considers the “physical fitness for military personnel” project to be one of the most important projects undertaken in modern Saudi Arabia, stressing this will play an important part in raising the readiness of Saudi military and security forces.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Shura Council member Dr. Abu Saq revealed some of the most important features of this draft project to prepare a “physical fitness for military personnel system.” The project is based on adopting a uniform physical fitness training framework to apply to all members of the military sector in order to raise their physical and psychological readiness and preparedness. This project will take into account working conditions within security and military apparatus, as well as the requirements to produce physically and mentally strong cadres. In addition to this, the training program will also seek to unify concepts and procedures within all military sectors by adopting guidelines, training programs and fitness exercises for practical application. The project will also take into account the different levels of fitness amongst new recruits, and develop a safe and professional environment for developing physical fitness.

Dr. Abu Saq stressed that this project will take into account the different levels of physical health and fitness of military personnel, allowing all cadres to ultimately raise their fitness levels via balanced and well-planned programs which will allow soldiers to assume their personal responsibility to maximizing their physical and psychological fitness. He added this program will ultimately provide military personnel with a sense of self-confidence and self-belief.

Colonel Mohamed Abu Saq also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the military must pay greater attention to physical fitness, adopting a special unified military fitness program. He added that this project will allow the military leadership to evaluate the physical fitness of those under their command, and troops must be required to pass periodic physical fitness tests, which will ultimately serve to raise the military’s operational and combat readiness.

President of the Saudi Shura Council’s Security Committee, Dr. Mohamed Abu Saq, stressed that he considers physical fitness to be one of the most important requirements for cadres wishing to remain within the military or gain promotion. He also made reference to the necessity of establishing physical fitness requirements for each age group, adding that every soldier must pass these physical fitness requirements, regardless of military rank.

Dr. Abu Saq also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that some military personnel are overweight, adding that advanced military apparatus do not allow cadres who fail to pass physical fitness tests to remain within the military establishment. He said “soldiers who fail to pass physical fitness tests or demonstrate the required physical and mental health should not be promoted or allowed to pass the training phase.”

He also revealed that this “physical fitness” system will take a soldier’s specialization and unit into account when assessing his physical fitness, adding that the physical requirements for Special Forces, the air force and the navy are assessed by different criteria. He also added that this program will seek to integrate physical fitness training within the daily work environment in general, as well as in training programs, administration and civil sectors, in particular.