WASHINGTON — As Air Force officials continue to sculpt their fitness program based on Airmen’s feedback, service officials issued an AF Guidance Memorandum here Dec. 20 that provides policy changes to AFI 36-2905, Fitness Program, with an implementation date of Jan. 1.
Compliance with the program is mandatory and outlines notable clarifications from the original July 1 guidance, such as specified waist-measurement procedures, sit-up and push-up instruction and clarity of target-component values to achieve an overall passing score.
“We not only have an increase in ‘excellent’ scores since the new fitness program’s implementation in July, but in terms of the guidelines, Airmen have talked, and we’ve listened,” said Brig. Gen. Sharon K.G. Dunbar, the director of force management policy. “We’ll continue to fine-tune the Air Force instruction so that Airmen are afforded the greatest opportunity to succeed with little room for ambiguity or misinterpretation of the instructions.”
The service’s top enlisted leader said the new guidance will hopefully foster Airmen’s continued success and understanding of the program, leading to an overall healthier way of life.
“Airmen are embracing the change in our fitness culture,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy. “These minor adjustments to the guidance on the test are meant to increase our Airmen’s understanding of how the test works. While emphasis may seem like it’s on the test itself, we really are encouraging our Airmen to develop healthy lifestyles.”
The AFGM 2 contains, but is not limited to, the following revisions:
» Fitness assessment cells will supervise Airmen conducting push-ups, sit-ups, and the 1.5-mile run or 1.0-mile walk at a ratio of no more than 12 members for every one FAC staff member or physical-training leader. When multiple Airmen are testing, they will pair off and count for each other with FAC oversight.
» For push-ups, Airmen will place their palms or fists on the floor, with hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and elbows fully extended. Feet should be no more than 12 inches apart and should not be supported, braced or crossed. Elbows will be bent at 90-degree angles and arms should be fully extended but not locked in the up position for the push-up to count. The Airman’s chest may touch, but not rest or bounce on the floor. Airmen may move their hands or feet from the floor or bridge or bow their backs, but only in the up or rest position; resting any other body part on the floor is not allowed. Any resting other than in the up position will cause the test to terminate, and the score will be based on the correct number of push-ups performed to that point.
» For sit-ups, members will cross arms over the chest so that any part of the hands or fingers remains in contact with the shoulders or upper chest at all times. Airmen may request that their feet be held down by the assessor’s hands or knees, but the assessor may not anchor members by holding behind the calves or by standing on the feet. When members’ hands or fingers come completely away from the chest or shoulder, or if their buttocks or heels leave the ground, the repetition will not count. The member may request a member of the same gender to hold the feet and that request must be granted. Where available, an anchored toe-hold bar may be used.
» Any attempts to alter heart rate, such as intentional slowing or stopping during the walk, are violations and will cause the test to be terminated, resulting in test failure. Airmen testing via the 1.0-mile walk are required to walk, not run, as quickly as possible, keeping at least one foot in contact with the ground at all times.
» Abdominal circumference assessment will begin with the tester on the right side of the Airman, who will stand on a flat surface. The tester will locate the measurement landmark immediately above the right uppermost hip bone, the superior border of the iliac crest, at the side of the body vertically in line with the right armpit (midaxillary line). Airmen may use one hand to initially assist the tester in anchoring the tape measure to the body, but must remove the hand from the tape measure before the official measurement is recorded. Measurement will be taken on bare skin. The free hand may be used to hold the shirt out of the way, but no part of the hands or arms may extend above the shoulders.
» Active-duty, Air Force Reserve and guardsmen under Title 10 Airmen must retest within 90 days following a failed fitness assessment. Unit commanders may not mandate Airmen to retest any sooner than the end of the 90-day reconditioning period. However, Airmen may volunteer to do so. Retesting in the first 42 days after an “unsatisfactory” test also requires unit commander approval in accordance with medical guidelines. It is the Airman’s responsibility to ensure he or she retests before the 90-day reconditioning period expires and non-currency begins on the 91st day.
» Any Airmen deployed for less than one year to a location that administers fitness assessments may complete fitness assessments on a volunteer basis only. Airmen will automatically be considered “exempt” if they are in a deployed location and their current fitness assessment expires.
» Commanders will exempt Airmen who are on terminal leave or permissive temporary duty in conjunction with retirement or separation, incarceration, on appellate leave or excess leave pending separation from the fitness assessment.
» Basic military training Airmen will complete official fitness assessments via training cadre physical training leaders. Graduated BMT Airmen will hand carry fitness assessment score sheets for input into the Air Force Fitness Management System by the FAC at their first duty station or the military training leader or unit fitness program manager at technical training school, whichever location they report to first.
» Recognition patches for members achieving and maintaining “excellent” fitness assessment scores is deleted.
For the complete AFGM 2, visit the Air Force e-publications site. An Air Force assessment video will be posted to the Air Force Fitness Program Web site at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/affitnessprogram/index.asp. It will provide a definitive set of instructions for administering and taking the Air Force physical fitness test. The video shows proper form, the “do’s and don’ts,” and common pitfalls to avoid for the push-ups and sit-ups.