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NEWS | Feb. 2, 2011

"Diamond Compliance Corner" - Week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 4

By Master Sgt. Towania L. Caldwell 811th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant

According to a March 2006 Associated Press (AP) article "75 percent of young adults between the ages of 17-24 are ineligible for military service. Some 30 percent of adults are considered obese and one-third of American teenagers are believed to be incapable of passing the treadmill test." The number of obese adults has more than doubled over the past 30 years; and the number of obese children has nearly tripled. Due to rising health issues and health care costs, healthy living and physical fitness has gained enormous attention over the past few years. The Air Force is no exception.

The Air Force has a long and bumpy history with establishing a service-wide fitness program. Who can forget the infamous bike test? For a time after the bike test, the Air Force's ability to track its member's fitness levels was sketchy at best. In 2003, the Air Force instituted a fitness program that included the 1.5-mile run, crunches, push up and AC measurement. With a few changes and some fine tuning the Air Force established the program that we have today. The program is not perfect by any means, but it is as close to perfect as we're likely to get. Like it or not the Air Force Fitness program is here to stay. And one's inability to receive a passing score has serious consequences.

The Air Force publicly released changes to the fitness program in an Air Force Guidance Memorandum, dated December 20, 2010. Some of the new changes include:
· New target-component values to achieve an overall passing score
· Specific guidelines for completing sit-ups, push-ups and AC measurement
· 1-mile walk test is measured via time and V02; one foot must be kept on the ground at all times; any attempts to alter heart rate (i.e. slowing or stopping) will rendered the test invald
· Environmental conditions for 1.5-mile run and 1-mile walk: greater than or equal to 20 degrees Fahrenheit with wind less than or equal to 15 miles per hour sustained, less than or equal to 20 mph gusting; Rain: temperature must be greater than 34 degrees F, including wind chill.
· Unsatisfactory scores no longer have to be consecutive to result in administrative actions (i.e. administrative demotion or separation)

Not surprisingly, with these new changes also came an increase in the number of failures. Most of these failures could have been prevented. Arrogance and poor form have been the reason for most failures within my own organization. Practice makes perfect! Individuals must practice all components in order to do well on the test. You may be able to do 60 sit-ups or push-ups, but are they Air Force approved sit-ups and push-ups? If you want to ensure that you do well on the test, please read the instructions listed in AFI 36-2905 for approved sit-ups and push-ups. A passing score can be obtained with hard work and dedication! Physical fitness is a top priority for the Air Force. For those of you who feel otherwise...lace up your sneakers now! Or you could find yourself with one less stripe or even worse, looking for civilian employment.