Air Guard plays by new, stricter fitness rules

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney
  • 124th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
As of July 1, the Air Force and Idaho Air Guard are playing by a new set of fitness rules.

You had better get to know them because they have significant career implications for members of the 124th Fighter Wing and impact the success of the wing's upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection.

At the direction of the wing commander, Maj. Donene Rognlie, Fitness Program Manager for the 124th Fighter Wing, has spent the past several weeks becoming the wing's resident expert on all things relating to the new Air Force physical fitness standards. She spent most of September drill briefing wing members on the changes that come as part of the new program.

"Colonel Compton wants each member of the wing to understand the changes because a successful fitness program rests on your shoulders and your personal fitness," Major Rognlie said.

One of the major changes is that there are now minimum passing scores in each of four categories: waist measurement, push-ups, sit-ups, and 1.5 mile run. If the minimum passing score in any one category is not met, it results in an automatic failure. That means no more cranking out the maximum number of push-ups or grinding out those extra crunches in the hopes that it will compensate for an expanding waistline or slow run time.

For example, a male under the age of 30 has to achieve at least 13 minutes and 36 seconds on the run, have a 39-inch abdominal circumference, and perform at least 33 pushups and 42 sit-ups.

While each category has a minimum standard, Airmen also should not just try to pass by only meeting those minimums.

"A male under age 30 who only meets the minimums for each category will only score a 65. The minimums only give Airmen a baseline to pass each component for credit. Airmen must aim to achieve better than the minimum standards," said Major Rognlie.

Failure constitutes mandatory administrative discipline from your commander and will affect your ability to be on annual training orders, reenlist, get promoted, deploy, and complete training, Major Rognlie said.

She went on to say that of the 20 fitness assessments completed since July 1, three have experienced some type of disciplinary action due to failure. These greatly affect military careers and the readiness of the unit.

"This is very real. If you are sedentary and do not prepare, you will not pass," Major Rognlie said. "I predict there will be far more failures."

It is now common practice for inspectors during Operational Readiness Inspections (like the wing is scheduled to have in October 2011) to pull participants out and have them perform a fitness assessment on the spot. Assessment scores of those individuals count towards the wing score during the inspection.

"Commanders need to put as much focus on fitness as ORI training," Maj. Rognlie said. "If people aren't passing the fitness assessment they can't be a player in the ORI."

Also new in 2010, all fitness assessments at will be administered by someone from outside of your unit. Personnel from the 266th Range Squadron will test at the Health and Wellness Center at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

Fitness assessments will be done for all technicians and traditional Guardsmen once per year. Active Guard-Reserve members will test twice a year.

According to the Air Force Fitness Program Web site, The Air Force Fitness Program goal is to motivate Airmen to participate in a year-round physical conditioning program that emphasizes total fitness, to include proper aerobic conditioning, strength and flexibility training, and healthy eating. Health benefits from an active lifestyle will increase productivity, optimize health, and decrease absenteeism while maintaining a higher level of readiness.
 
To learn more about the new fitness program, visit the Air Force Fitness Program Web site at http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/affitnessprogram/index.asp

Related Story: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2010/05/airforce_PT_051610