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Air Force fitness program revision rewards excellent Airmen

Revisions to the Air Force fitness program take affect Jan. 1, 2010, and bring about some of the most significant changes to fitness standards in the last five years. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Airmen who earn an "excellent" on the new fitness test will now only have to test once a year according to a new revision to the Air Force Fitness Program.

WASHINGTON -- Based upon service-wide feedback, Airmen who earn an "excellent" on the new fitness test will now only have to test once a year according to a new revision to the Air Force Fitness Program.

"We believe this will recognize fitness excellence and serve as an incentive for more Airmen to improve their fitness," said Col. Joan Garbutt, the chief of military force policy division.

The revision, which takes effect the same day the new program kicks-off on July 1, allows those Airmen who test in all four components of the test and receive an overall score of 90 or better to test only once a year. The four components of the new fitness test include a 1.5-mile timed run, abdominal circumference, push-ups and sit-ups. Prior to this revision, all Airmen were required to test twice a year.

Approximately one of every five fitness scores documented in 2009 was "excellent" for those Airmen who tested in all four categories, said Capt. Sean Brazel, the chief of officer promotions, evaluations and fitness policy.

"Factoring in these numbers, we forecast a reduction in the fitness testing workload when this new policy takes effect," the captain added.

Airmen must test under the new standards to qualify for this change. Therefore, only Airmen who test after June 30 will be able to earn the opportunity to do their fitness test once a year. Airmen who score an "excellent" but were medically exempt from testing in one or more of the four components will still need to test twice a year. In other words, Airmen must successfully complete all four components of the fitness test to qualify for the once a year testing.

"We believe this is another step in the right direction towards cultivating a fitter Air Force," Colonel Garbutt said.