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Chief's Corner - week of Sept. 4

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- There is an Air Force test we all take at least once a year and it is critical to our continued service in the military. We are given the answers prior to the taking the test and yet a significant number of personnel still don't pass. I'm talking about the AF fitness assessment. I'm amazed when I talk to Airmen before taking the test and they tell me things like "I hope I have a good run today" or "I'm not sure what I'm going to score." There are four elements to the test, waist measurement, running, sit-ups and pushups. What you need to score on each element to pass the test can be found at the gym, in Air Force Instructions or by asking a physical training leader. So cheat -- practice, practice and practice the test.

When I find out that an individual who has failed the test is working out three times a week, but they don't include any of the three physical elements of the PT test in their workout, I have to wonder. You wouldn't study calculus if you were going to take a history exam. It is easy to include pushups, sit-ups and running in any workout regimen. My personal workout goal is to be able to pass the PT test any day of the week, any week of the year, because I know my career depends on it. And so does yours.

This message is of utmost importance in the current AF environment. With the next round of early retirement boards looming and the new performance reports on the horizon, gone are the days an Airman can fail a test, pass it a few months later, and have that first failure not affect his or her career. That one failure will set you apart from your peers, putting your continued service in the AF in jeopardy. So, my advice is to cheat on the test. Figure out exactly what you need to score in the 90s for each of the four elements, workout, and diet, so you can achieve that goal year round, and enjoy a long and healthy AF career.
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