WASHINGTON -- Six months after its implementation, the U.S. Air Force has fine-tuned its new fitness policy in response to feedback from airmen.
The revisions were described in an Air Force guidance memorandum issued last month and went into effect on Jan. 1, according to the Air Force’s official website.
The core of the new policy remains the same, but the memorandum gives detailed instructions regarding how the assessment for each of the test’s four components (aerobic, body composition, sit-ups and push-ups) should be conducted.
For example, the sit-up test now specifies that a repetition will not be counted “if that member’s hands or fingers come completely away from the chest or shoulder, or if their buttocks or heels leave the ground.” The guidelines for taking abdominal measurements are similarly precise, stating that the assessment “will begin with the tester on the right side of the airman, who will stand on a flat surface” and that “no part of the hands or arms may extend above the shoulders.”
The extremely precise guidelines could be in response to many airmen’s dissatisfaction with the new civilian-staffed Fitness Assessment Cells where testing now takes place. In December, The Air Force Times reported that it had received hundreds of letters from airmen complaining that the civilian testers were unfair in how they conducted the evaluations.
In an announcement issued by the Air Force Public Affairs office, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy said that he hoped the clarifications would be beneficial to airmen’s understanding of the test and would lead to the continued success of the new program.