The Air Force is apparently about to become a branch of the United States military:

Beginning next year, Air Force officials will implement a new fitness test completely different than what airmen today are familiar with.

The more functional test will include a 1.5-mile timed run, a muscular-fitness test of push-ups and crunches and a body composition test. It is designed to measure the general health of airmen, said Maj. Lisa Schmidt, chief of health promotions operations at the Air Force surgeon general’s office.

“The goal is to have a healthy, fit force that can deploy at any time,” Schmidt said. “Our goal is to prevent the onset of diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, high-blood pressure and high cholesterol. Basically, it is about keeping members healthy so they will perform optimally, in-garrison and deployed. Healthy members are more heat-, stress- and fatigue-tolerant, and less prone to illness and injury.”

In the Army and Marine Corps, the goal is to have soldiers fit for performance. The Air Force is apparently hoping just to have people not keel over before hitting 40. And this is an increased standard!

While the charts are not available yet, airmen who are not already involved in some sort of exercise program should begin now, Schmidt said.

“If you are not doing anything now and have concerns, see your doctor first,” she said. “Begin slowly with an aerobic-exercise program such as running, jogging, swimming or biking, working up to at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Muscular fitness and flexibility also need to be part of a balanced fitness program. If you have questions about starting a fitness program, you can contact your local (health and wellness center). They can help develop a program that’s right for you.”


And, since this is an Air Force publication, one would have thought they’d have come up with a better photograph. . .

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Greyhawk says:

    Once upon a time a long time ago an unnamed branch of the military devised a fitness program using stationary bikes and heart rate monitors that seemed quite silly unless one considered the number of dollars that had to be moved from point A to point B in order to launch said program.

    Sorry for being cynical. I’m sure they were just taking a scientific approach to fitness. Right?

  2. SSgt Annie da Mouse says:

    Ah yes, the McPeek era, granola and aircrew/airline style uniforms for all. The strange thing is that it’s taken this long for us to finally shake those bikes out of our system.

    Could it be that they’re due to be replaced and the current budget office said, “THEY COST HOW FREAKING MUCH?”

    As far as pictures go, you really need to go back a couple of weeks in The Air Force Times in a story on the same subject, with a picture of the current COS, Gen Jumper, three chins fully in view…the caption? “I’m a PT (Physical Training) kinda guy.” Ummm, sir, perhaps you should stop eating at the chow hall, the cheap double cheese burgers are starting to show.