Shutdown Delays New Air Force PT Standards

PT TestThe government shutdown has delayed the start of new physical training standards for the Air Force.

New body fat and Body Mass Index standards were scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but those standards have been delayed indefinitely, said Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley, an Air Force spokeswoman. 

Tingley said she could not say for certain the delay was caused by the shutdown. However, another official who asked not to be named said the group of civilians who were supposed to initiate the new instruction are on furlough. Air Force Times was the first to report the delay.

The waist measure portion of the PT test is at the crux of the change and the source of controversy ever since it was introduced. The forthcoming change to the test would allow airmen who fail the waist measurement, but pass the 1.5 mile run, push-up and sit-up portion, to take a Body Mass Index test.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh announced the change in August after receiving complaints from airmen who said it was unfair to individuals who are taller and more muscular. Those complaints have been heard since the introduction of the waist measurement to the PT test in 2010.

  • Rodney

    1.5 mile run?? What- only 25 pushups in 2 minutes? 6 weeks of basic?? “Chair Force” indeed.

    • Pickat Fence

      You know not of which you speak.

    • straps

      …and one of the best (if not THE BEST, given that the mission of the Air Force is to kill people from the air) aviation safety records of any entity that puts metal in the air.

      If 6 weeks/25 pushups/knowing which way the rifle points is what it takes, good on ’em. I’ve done mid-air TRX workouts with C-17 crews, workouts and hangouts with Tony Horton hosted on Air Force bases and trained/worked with Ravens and JTACs whose conditioning th units THEY support would envy.

      Nonetheless, funny on multiple levels. Army was set to COMPLETELY re-vamp its standards on 1 October 2001 but that was OBE in September.

    • Jon

      Hey, when I was in the USAF I didn’t join to do any running! I wanted the AC and ability to kick my feet up on a desk for the same paycheck as a Marine getting shot at on the other side of the world.

    • Paul

      Not sure where you’re getting your info but maybe that’s the standard for females age 50 and above. I went through basic in 2009 and it was no 6 weeks or 25 push ups in 2 minutes.

    • Jack

      for males under 29 its 32 pushups , 43 sit ups in a minutes. and Basic is 8 weeks.

  • AF Gunner

    Not sure where you get your info. But for males under 30
    Target pushups are 44 and to max it’s 67 one minute
    Target Situps are 46 and to max it’s 58 one minute
    Waist measurement is target 37.5 inches and max 32.5. and that is not where your pants sit. it’s abouve you hip bones and around your belly button.
    Run is target is 13:14 and max is 9:12 for 1.5 mile.

    There has been a big controversy over failing your waist measurement and failing the PT test even though you meet all of the other requirements. And I hate to say it’s not hard to tape over 39 inches in your waist when you are doing it with a slack tape right across your belly button. I hate to tell the Airman out there that this new BMI standard is not going to do anything for you if you are tall have a thin neck. If you fail the waist you will fail the BMI.

    • Jarhead

      That’s still pretty lame! The Air Force is such a money waster!

      • Spendola

        Most ignorant thing I’ve read, next time you need legit air support don’t call anyone. The big mighty marines can take care of themselves bud. Get over yourself

    • Lifer

      The AF throws out the DOD BMI standard and applies their own 18 percent across the board for men, 26 percent for women. I don’t know who would benefit from the AF’s version of the BMI. If you have a 22 inch neck and a 40 inch waist, you’ll pass. I don’t know anyone built like that… Women still get 3 more minutes to run the 1.5 in their respective age groups. Women aren’t THAT much slower and when you get in your 40s as a woman, it’s an absolute joke of a test. I failed the test 2 years ago because someone didn’t know how to properly tape me so I failed based in a 1/4 inch too large measurement. I passed the run easily and maxed out the pushups and situps and scored above 75 but failed because of the poor measurement technique. Yea, I shouldn’t have let myself be that close. The waist measurement is subjective and varies with each person’s measuring technique. Running of course is weighted much more since the AF is run happy and not strength centered at all. If they added pullups, I’d be okay with it. Strength is no problem being a life long weight lifter.

  • conradswims

    If a person is so lazy that they don’t care enough about their own health and well being to exercise on their own then they should be kicked out of the service and given a a general discharge.

    • charles

      I drank like fish almost every day (for 7 years in our squadron sanctioned bar in the barracks) for the better part of my career. Dreaded the one day a year when I had to run 1.5 miles within the allotted 14 minutes. I was 5′ 13″ and always 160lbs. Not much of it muscle. That is all I needed to do and it satisfied the Air Force back then. Why all the changes?

      • FedUpWithUrSillyness

        5′ 13″ huh?

    • robert

      I have two bulging discs in my back, I was only a half inch off of the measurement, and passed the rest of the test with flying colors. I worked out all the time and have 22 1/2 inch biceps. Until you know whats going on with someone, don’t make ingnorant comments. I had letters and TSgts and MSgts telling my commander that I was a great airman and should be allowed to stay in. But he was to concerned with making full bird that he didn’t care.

  • Guest

    Personally, I like the idea of the waist measurement being a ‘Negative’ number on your PT score. So if you’re one of those people who are just born a little ‘thick in the waist’, but you do well on the PT test, you’re fine. The more thick, the better your PT Score needs to be….
    I met a PJ who was built like a Teddy Bear. Man could run a 6 min 1.5 miler and did more pushups in 1 minute than I do in 2. he would easily fail tape, but no one could say wasn’t fit.

    • conradswims

      A four minute mile? Your post is a real streach!

      • Paul

        guess you haven’t met our Para Rescue then

  • InANutShell

    I don’t see the waist measurement being there for fittness really. I think it’s more or less there to shape everyone into the same military image. We’re expected to be uniform and this is just another way they can do just that.

  • Chris

    LMAO! Can’t cut the “fat”, because we are cutting the “fat”…. Why are civilians even involved….Weight control, PT, AFPT were unit and Commanders responsibility. Weigh-ins, body taping and other controls were conducted within the military chain-of -command…… Sounds like the right fat was cut to begin with, the civilians….

    • JD

      You won’t be in the military forever. Curious if you still say that if you become a government civilian and get furloughed. If you know what that even means!

    • Lifer

      Integrity first -well not for fitness proctoring…

  • Willow

    For one sweetheart alot of branches do a 1.5 mile run so get your facts straight. Sit down and respect. Plus your probably just mad cause you werent smart enough to get in to the Air Force. We all do the same job. Protecting our country.

    • Chris

      Suggest that you look at the APFT standards for the Army and Marines…. My bet the Coast Guard has higher requirements than the Air Force…… LOL

    • Josh

      Sorry but that’s the weakest PT I have ever read. USMC is a hell of a lot tougher. Even the Army is tougher then the USAF PT. Only other branch of service with a similar PT is the Navy. I respect all military uniformed personnel, I just laugh at the PT they have to go through.

  • MarineCorpsAviation

    The Air Farce has physical training standards??? When did that happen?

    • James Robertson

      The Marines have Aviation? Is that what you call those cute little Harriers, F-18’s (previously rejected by the USAF) and decades old helicopters?

      • ChairedFarce

        How cute. Mr. Robertson has his panties in a twist.

  • Air Force Proud

    you can pick what service you want to join, no need to rag on the air force. they want brains not brawn. that’s why they ask for the highest scores on the asvab test. they let the bullet catchers go to the other branches of service, lol

    • Chris

      Oh yea, that’s right, I forgot about the mandatory eighteen hole round of golf everyday…. “Peace is our profession because we cannot do it in war.” LOL

    • Ornithopter

      Eh, thought about joining the air force, but apparently they can’t be bothered to call interested person’s back. Navy was quite happy to get another 97 asvab score. And another nuke.

  • Keith

    About time they implement the body fat test. The Army has been doing that for years. Stop being such cry babies. You already have it easy. Get over it.

  • Michael

    What’s the point of putting a maximum value for these test? Maximum 9:15 for 1.5miles run, after 3 month of training I have passed from ~17min to ~9:30.Get yourself a pair of REAL running shoes.

    What are they scared, that the trainee run too fast and get bored? ROFLMAO!

  • Pete Sheppard

    This is a sad joke…because of a ‘shutdown’, someone can’t just tell people to do something differently? SHEESH!

  • mpower6428

    how ironic is it that the “god force” is making a big deal about the shut down…?

  • S K

    Chris has a point. Why are civilians needed to implement integral Quality Force indicators? It’s a slap in the face to our commanders and NCO’s, whose job it is to enforce such standards.

    • JP2336

      well, AF folks, police your own and you wouldn’t have such an issue.

  • Dick Lancaster

    The Air Force has PT standards? How much did they budget for changing something that didn’t exist?

  • bulldurham48

    If you can explain why a government shutdown that does not effect active duty personnel could possibly have any bearing on an Air Force PT testing standards change please explain that to the rest of us. Unless there are no active duty people in the AF its not even possible, and if the civilians are running that much of the AF we need to disband it and in make it part of the Army again so it can function as a Military service again. What a true crock of crap.

    • Hawk66

      Actually Its amazing how much is contracted out to civliians as far as Active Duty goes. Now Active Duty Army barely does their MOS (as far as Aviation) and sends soldiers to National Guard schools for training. And a large majority of instructors at all military schools are civilian, so have all the schools shutdown?

      • Rodney

        Not much has changed since the 80’s then. As 67Ns in a reserve medevac unit flying UH-1Ds we were told not to touch the birds, other than washing the windows and very light maintenance. Anything more was the job of the full-timer civilians who came in during the week. For major issues we’d ship them back to Bell in Corpus Christi anyway. Unit got activated for Desert Storm, but didn’t take their civilian maintainers with them to the sand box of course. Always wondered how they fared without them.

        • Hawk66

          In the 80’s Reserve unit , we were told the same thing. But then and now, the fulltime tech’s are dual-status-meaning you must be in the military to hold the position ( I am one). Even though I wear the uniform all week, I am technically a civilian federal employee. Also means I am currently furloughed (laid off). The big difference is that we schedule or save work for our traditional weekend soldiers. I have deployed and we hit the ground running in Iraq. A couple stumbles but not bad and we performed much better then our Active Duty brothers.

  • FedUpWithUrArrogance

    We’ve all seen the obese Army guys and the widebody Marines too. While our AF PT isn’t as hard as theirs, that’s all they have to jab at. I guess their minimum ASVAB scores are showing. Every time there is an AF post, there is a Jarhead or an Army turd spouting something. C’mon, one team, one fight you goofballs.

    • Michael

      The only pattern that I can see is those waves of negatives coming from anxious people that doesn’t trust their own capability. I don’t say that it’s too low, just that putting a maximum is totally ridiculous and it send a wrong message: all elements have all interest to be in their best shape, you never know.

      Lets kill this stereotype of big brain-> poor physique/good physique -> small brain. It’s just a matter of looking far enough to see that it’s a vicious misconception.

      • Hawk66

        Those maximums are used for promotion points. To allow those soldiers who actually put in the effort to train off duty to excel more than those who just pass with the minimums. (No I have never Max’d a PT test even in my twenties). Those points are used along with evals, schools, awards and marksmanship. So it must be brains and a little brawn, I am Army but went to a Air Force School in the 80’s and still serve. I have nothing but respect for all branches of service and have good friends serving in Air Force. But I do believe we need a standard for fitness and uniforms. We waste too much money because each uniformed service needs a separate identity (which is fine) But green boots?

  • Juanito Grande

    Recent history proves the world is a better, safer place because of the United States Air Force. It would be a good idea for the CiC to get with the program & quit shutting down the government.

  • Ken Badoian

    WHy administrator you USAF.

  • Roger

    Until the AF makes a PT score part of promotion points, you will never have full support or those giving extra effort to do better. I mean, hell, I score a 90+ each year and Sgt fluffynuts beside me scores a 75.1 and promotion-wise, we are still equal (this of course due to everyone getting 5 EPR’s). It’s a big mess I’ve hated from the beginning and I’m ADAF for 15 yrs now.

    • Roger

      And by teh way, I don’t do any running during the year and can still knoock out an “Excellent” PT score. I run for 2 reasons: 1)my life is in danger or 2) it’s mandatory fun-run time at work. I find nothing fun about running just to be running.


    I’ll leave the specific standards to the AF to determine what best suits their mission but I would say that when implementation of something so simple depends on paid civilian contractors, the leadership responsible must be questioned. – -..

    If a simple change to physical fitness standards can’t be designed without paid assistance from the private sector I would say that the AF has lost sight of what it means to be a US military service. If this is necessary possibly DOD needs to either change the leadership of the AF or transition the AF to the private sector with contractors and unions operating our AF assets.

  • Jon

    69 pushups 1 minute, 59 situps, 1 minute and a 1.5 run in 9:12 are the standards…..

  • SGMBob

    So what’s the big deal here? The old standards were good and valid for YEARS! I don’t understand how the new standards are so vital that the national economy is holding back development. Do we no longer have airmen in uniform – or is everybody in the Air Force a civilian who got sent home at the shutdown! Stories like this make me want to puke.

    • Hawk66

      All your Air Guard and Air Reserve fulltimers are federal employees and got sent home

  • AF Gunner

    I’m going to put this in a different direction and move away from the AFPT standard and towards the news story. Though I’m an old man by Air Force standards and I am still serving, the waist measurement has been a major pain the ass since it was adopted a few years ago. I believe there was a few lawsuits against the AF for kicking out 18+ years airman who could pass all parts of the PT test and still not pass. It does not matter if you max every other category on the test, if your waist measures more than 39 inches you’re done. If for whatever reason you cannot reduce that waist size you will be discharged for PT failures. I actually think this delay has more to do with how they are going to handle the waist measurement than the shutdown. I believe they are using the shutdown as an excuse to hold off on the new fix, BMI or not. I don’t care if you think 39” is fat and you should get discharged or a BMI over whatever is too much. This story is not about that.

  • toolittletoolate

    Whats the hold up on this policy? Implement on 1 Oct 13, not make policy on 1 Oct 13. This should have been completed NLT 30 Sep 13. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says to use the DoD standard. Make it so! Cut and paste the DoD instruction into the AFI36-2905! One team one fight! Less red tape.

  • AF 12 yrs in.

    I am a 29 yr old female who has had 2 kids in the past 3 yrs. Im happy they are getting rid of the waist measurement. I passed everything except for it. Men will never know, but it is extremely hard for some woman to get thier body looking the same after having a baby! Also everyone is built differently. The AF is just trying to find a fair way to test troops. I can do the situps, pushups, run and i do lift weights. But just because I cant get my tummy tight again to what the reg says my waist should be, dont belong in the AF??? I don’t think so!

  • B. Jones

    If doing pushups and situps and running 1.5 miles has any bearing on your job performance, then lets get it on! However, after having served 30 years in the Air Force I have never seen any difference in the quality of work in those who can do all three exercises and fix and repair aircraft or any other job as well as the guy or gal that can’t do all of the required task exercises. Job performance is what really counts when push get to shove! The bottom line is this being a tool that helps the military in the downsizing of the forces by eliminating personnel who can do their job but are unable to perform the physical standards.

  • Joshua Smith

    This is a complete joke! We have to review our PT standards & change them to accomodate those who whine, moan, gripee, & complain!! I understand the waist for guys or gals who are in shape & are taller, broader, & more masculine…who actually workout, stay in shape, & take care of their bodies. On the other hand, we have these lazy, out of shape, complainers who whine too much becaust they are TOO LAZY to workout, or DO NOT have any self control when it comes to their diet, party WAY TOO MUCH, can’t let go of the alcohol either. If you cannot stay in shape to pass a PT test you DO NOT belong in the military period. I am 36 years old, maintain perfect 100’s on my PT Tests every year. I eat right, workout, take care of myself, do not party, & do not drink!!! It is about will power, self control, & learning to have some self mastery in you own personal lifestyle!! You signed the dotted line to be a part of the military, act the part, LOOK THE PART, if not you DO NOT BELONG…go back to the civilian world period…I AM OUT!!!!

  • Greg

    Soooo if i wanted to get a haircut like the gentleman in the picture….I would say what to my barber?