Note: These requirements are for after basic training and technical school. Recruits in basic training and non-prior-service recruits in technical school will continue to be tested using the basic training standards (see Surviving Air Force Basic Training ).
Until January 1, 2004, the Air Force used a ergo-cycle test to measure annual fitness. Individuals would ride a stationary bike, and the load and heart-rate were used to determine their level of fitness.
In January 2004, the Air Force replaced the ergo-cycle test with an annual fitness test consisting of four components: body composition, 1.5 mile run (or ergo-cycle for those medically excused from the run), pushups, and sit-ups. The Air Force has now made significant changes to the fitness program that take effect on January 1, 2010.
The New Program
Under the new program (effective January 1, 2010), Airmen will be tested twice a year (under the previous program, it was once per year). To pass, Airmen must achieve a minimum passing score in each component, and receive a total score of at least 75.
The test components break down as follows:
- Body composition - 20 percent of total possible points
- 1.5 Mile Run - 60 percent of total possible points
- Pushups - 10 percent of total possible points
- Sit-Ups - 10 percent of total possible points
The maximum possible number of composite points is 100. Possible score categories are as follows:
- Excellent: Composite score equal to or greater than 90 with all minimum components met.
- Satisfactory: Composite score of 75 - 89.99 with all minimum components met.
- Unsatisfactory: Composite score less than 75 and/or one or more minimum components not met.
Under the previous program, fitness tests were administered by unit personnel (generally, someone in the squadron was designated as the unit fitness monitor, and administered the program and annual tests). Under the new program, trained civilian employees will conduct fitness tests for everyone on the base. The fitness program will be administered at new centrally located fitness assessment cells, or FAC. The Air Force hopes that this will reduce possible favoritism. (Note: For geographically separated units or other locations with less than 1,000 military members, Airmen may travel to the closest base with a FAC at their commander's discretion, or physical training leaders and/or unit fitness program managers will continue to administer the test at the GSU location.)
Airmen achieving and maintaining excellent fitness assessment scores will be allowed to wear a patch on their PT uniform recognizing their accomplishment. Patches will be awarded for the following:
- Excellent: Airmen with a current fitness assessment score of equal to or greater than 90 and meeting all component minimum requirements.
- Sustained Excellence: Airmen with the most recent four or more tests over a continuous minimum two- year period with fitness assessment scores equal to or greater than 90 and meeting all component minimum requirements.
- Maximum Performer: Airmen with a current fitness assessment score of 100.
- Sustained Maximum: Airmen with the most recent four or more tests over a continuous minimum two- year period with fitness assessment scores of 100.
Consequences for Failure
For failures (including first-time failures), commanders may take administrative action (letters of reprimand, denial of promotion, records of counseling, ect.), if they feel its warrented. Officers and enlisted members will be required to have a passing, current fitness score to be selected for or attend professional military education. All members must have a current fitness test in order to deploy. There are other restrictions regarding retraining, reenlistment eligibility and assignment eligibility that could be impacted by a failed fitness score, especially if such a score results in a referral (bad) performance report.
Airmen failing the test are entered into a mandatory fitness program and have
90 days to retest, while some have up to 180 days to retest. In some cases,
commanders may allow immediate retests if the Airman is medically able and ready