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Leap into Fitness
Airmen rise to meet new Air Force fitness standards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Corey Hook)
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New fitness guidance tailored toward attitude of responsibility

Posted 2/8/2011   Updated 2/8/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Jessica Hines
21st Space Wing public affairs

2/8/2011 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Over the past decade, Air Force fitness standards have grown by leaps and bounds, most notably due to increased military operations across all branches of service.

Now more than ever, combat zones have seen an increase of Air Force blue - and not just in the skies. Today's Air Force seeks to prepare Warrior Airmen for mission specific tasks that have asked more -- both physically and mentally -- from a new generation of Airmen.

Staying current with fitness standards has become an integral part of maintaining the "total Airman." Being fit to fight has meant an increased commitment to a new culture of fitness. All service branches have stepped up their dedication to fitness over the past decade as well. For example, the Marine Corps added the Combat Fitness Test, in addition to their annual Physical Fitness Test, which measures abilities demanded of Marines in war zones.

The Air Force has made a number of changes to the current physical fitness standards, some more obvious than others, but nonetheless important.

A recent Air Force Guidance Memorandum for AFI 36-2905 details some of these important new changes; an explanation below helps outline some amendments every Airman should know.

Paragraph six of the memorandum details Airmen's responsibility for maintaining current standards. Specifically, "know the block of time within which his or her fitness assessment is required to remain current." This means that Airmen should be aware of when they are due for a fitness assessment and not let it go unscheduled. If you know your window of testing is coming due, start making the necessary arrangements to test, especially if you have not been contacted by your unit fitness program manager. Failure to stay current and let testing slide will result in a "does not meet standards" rating on the member's officer performance report/enlisted performance report.

Paragraph 14 talks about medical reviews for exemptions. If an Airman has been exempted from one or more of the four components of the fitness test for at least a continuous 12-month period or has four component exemptions in a 24-month period, they will be reviewed by the UFPM. The UFPM will notify the unit commander, who will in turn request the exercise physiologist/wing FPM review the case at the Deployment Availability Working Group. Once the appropriate medical evaluation has been completed, the DAWG will decide whether or not a medical evaluation board is required.

For example: an Airman who had knee surgery and was exempted from running for one year must be recommended by the unit commander for review at the DAWG.

Paragraph 17 simply states that "Airmen must retest within 90 days following a failed FA." These 90 days are seen as a "reconditioning period" where non-currency begins on the 91st day. However, if you want to retest within the first 42 days after an Unsatisfactory test-- you'll have to have your commander's approval -- but you cannot be mandated to test sooner than the end of the 90-day period although you can volunteer to do so. Additionally, it is the Airman's responsibility to ensure that he or she retest before the 90-day reconditioning period expires.

There is no measure of wealth to put on the value of being physically fit in today's total force. Every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine has made a commitment to fitness that places them on a higher path to physical training. Our commitment to this training is reflected in our attitudes when we actively take control of our own personal condition.

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