28. December 2004 · Comments Off on New Air Force PT System is Broke · Categories: Wild Blue Yonder

I wasn’t going to post this…I was going to save it and wait for it to break via the Air Force Times or some other medium and then giggle about how “I knew that.” The problem is…the story isn’t breaking. It’s the end of the year. Supposedly everyone has either passed their PT test or they’re in classes to get their scores where they need to be. That’s what should have happened. That’s the way the system works. You either passed, or you’re working on passing. That’s the deal. Having my leg give me fits and having to work on trying to run and then realizing that I can’t run and it not being my fault and watching all the folks I was in class with bust their asses to get their run times down or get their bike test where it needs to be was a great experience. I’m proud of my score. I earned it. I’m proud of the folks I was in class with. So for the folks who haven’t passed and who aren’t in class trying to pass, I have little to no sympathy. There was a gal in my PT Class who was in a freaking CAM Walker (removable walking cast). I really don’t want to hear any sob stories, ‘k?

The new Air Force PT Test consists of three parts:

Aerobics: which consists of either the 1.5 mile run or the new, harder, bike test. That’s worth up to 50 points right there. That’s the big kahuna. You don’t score in the upper 30s there…you aren’t passing.

Body Composition (Your Waist Size): Worth up to 30 points. If your waist is over 40″, you’re going to class to learn how to cut some of that goo off of you. No, Stryker, they don’t recommend liposuction.

Muscle Fitness:
Pushups. Worth up to 10 points.
Situps. Worth up to 10 points.

For a possible total of 100 points.

A score of 90 or above is considered “Excellent.” You-da-man. If you score here, you don’t have to be tested again for two years. You’re in shape…we get it.

Now, you need a score of 75 or greater to be considered “Good.” Good means that you test again in another year.

If you score 70 to 74.9, that’s considered “Marginal.” You should have to take a class that encourages a healthier lifestyle and will test again in 6 months.

Under 70 is poor. You not only have to spend some time in a classroom to encourage you to get thy shit together, you’re being handed over to “them.” You know who I’m talking about, they were the gym teachers when we were back in school. I’m sure they’re called something like “Physical Lifestyle Enhancement Facilitators” or something equally as smarmy, but I just call them (shudder) “Trainers.” My Trainers were young, in very good shape, and just plain mean. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

So where exactly is the system broke? You take the test, you get your score, you know right away whether or not you’re participating in “mandatory fun” at the gym for the next couple months or not. How could the system be broke?

As most of you know…in this day and age…no event in the military really takes place until you enter the results into a computer. And depending on the size of an Air Force Unit, the folks who are giving the test, may not be the folks who are putting the data into that computer. The folks doing data entry may have up to 10 different folks feeding them score sheets.

Take another look at the block up above and notice where I say that each area is “worth” up to “X” amount of points. Say a 43 year old guy runs the mile and a half in 12:10. That’s worth 40.5 points. It’s entered into the computer as 12:10…the computer does it’s thing…it computes 12:10 for a 43 year old male as being worth 40.5 points. How would a 43 year old guy score the full 50 points? He’d run the mile and a half in 10:24 or better.

You know what you score if you walk off the track or fail to complete the mile and a half? You score a zero. Or, I should say, it’s “worth” zero. However, that’s not what the computer is looking for…the computer isn’t looking for you to feed it the score…it’s looking for the time. And because the folks who built the database weren’t thinking everything through and because no one was double checking the results the computer was coming up with as they put in score sheet after score sheet…as far as the computer is concerned, 0:0 is just another time under 10:24 that’s worth 50 points.

How do I know this? Because when I went to have my real passing score of 75 put into the computer in my Orderly Room, they had to remove the score of 89 that was in there from back when I failed my PT Test in October.

So…if you’re Air Force and you KNOW you didn’t do as well on the PT Test as you should have and you’re still waiting for your unit to contact you, perhaps…just maybe…you might want to log onto the Air Force Portal and take a look at your score.

‘Cuz I KNOW my unit is working on fixing this thing but what I don’t know is what they’re going to do to the folks who have been sliding since they failed. See, our PT Managers told each and every person who failed to contact them or the Orderly Room if they hadn’t heard back from them in 10 Duty Days. I don’t know what your folks told you but I’m thinkin’, “Hey, they never contacted me after I failed.” isn’t going to fly…especially if you’re still a tub of goo who can’t wobble around the track in the right amount of time or ride the bike with a decent heart rate.

AFI 10-248 is the prescribing directive for the Air Force Fitness Program.

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