This is to the editiorial staff at AFT,

Over the past few years, your paper has run articles blasting the Air Force fitness program. You call upon leaders to allow members with bigger waists to pass, you did a body fat experiment that you claimed proves the DoD is wrong with their taping guidance. Ironically, the only AF member you tested would have failed both anyway. It's time that you stop relying on people reaching out to you with horror stories...go and see for yourself.

I challenge you to take a look at our program from the inside before you come to such conclusions. Here's what I challenge you with.

Contact your nearest AF Base and ask permission to watch how our PT Tests are conducted. Pick the last three duty days of any calendar month (FACs are full), avoid any other time of the month because you will be wasting your time, and send a reporter to the FAC for the entire day(s). Here's what your mission would be:

1. Count the number of AF members who test during the period
2. Count the number who show up on a profile and capture their exempted components
3. Watch the A/C tests of each member (this requires you send a female reporter too)
4. Watch the P/U and S/U portion and watch how some do their pushups and situps...check their form against AFI guidance
5. Evaluate our "highly trained" PTLs who oversea the tests and watch how they count each rep.
6. Watch the 1.5 mile run and evaluate your thoughts on those running the required distance. Don't be surprised if you see people walking during the run.
7. Since only 2 in 100 fail the test according to AF stats, I doubt you will see anyone fail, but if you do see an alarming spike in failures, it would be interesting for you to report what you see to AF leadership.

Bottom line, this is what you will notice: 3 in 10 will be on a profile, will come in and get taped, then leave the facility, 1 in 10 will be on a profile where they come in and get taped, and then do p/u or s/u, but no cardio. 4 in 10 will take the entire test and pass, 2 in 10 will score below an 80 and/or fail the assessment.

During the A/C measurements you will notice how our PTLs may have trouble finding the iliac crest of some of our member's hip bones. I think you will be grossed out when you see this process. Not everyone who fails the waist measurement are professional bodybuilders like some want you to think.

I think you will be shocked at what you discover.

Oh, one more thing, talk to the FAC staff and PTLs and report on what they see...I'm sure it would make for some fantastic reporting.

Michael R

I currently work at a FAC and have failed almost one hundred people, of those guess how many failed due to their muscular build? Not even one. In addition, I have only known one person in my whole career that failed because their waist was too big from body building. Most of the arguments here are either from people that don't get 90's due to their waist (body builders) or because they've failed a AC measurement simply because they are fat. If you're in the Air Force and your fat, FIX IT OR MOVE ON. Stop blaming the Air Force for your lack of exercise, put down the Twinkies and get off the couch. Physical Fitness is a standard for you to maintain. If you think that because you have seventeen years in the service you should be allowed to look nasty in your uniform then you're just ignorant. The Air Force isn't here to alter its needs to fit you, plain and simple.