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Shutdown delays new fitness standards

Oct. 1, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  

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Starting Tuesday, tough new Body Mass Index and body fat standards were supposed to go into effect for the tape test failures, but the Air Force instruction laying out those standards has not been published yet because of the government shutdown. (Airman 1st Class Jamie Nicley/Air Force)

The government shutdown has delayed the implementation of the new physical fitness standards for airmen who fail the tape test but get a composite score of 75 on the rest of the PT test, officials said.

Starting Tuesday, tough new Body Mass Index and body fat standards were supposed to go into effect for the tape test failures, but the Air Force instruction laying out those standards has not been published yet, Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley said.

Until it is published, the old instruction on PT standards is still in effect, Tingley said.

Tingley was unable to say the reason for the delay, but another Air Force official who asked not to be identified said the civilians whose job is to publish the instruction have been furloughed due to the government shutdown.

In August, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh announced pending changes to the PT test after a review prompted by complaints from airmen that they can pass the pushup, situp and 1.5-mile run portion of the test but their waist sizes are larger than allowed because they are big and muscular.

Under the new PT rules that were set to go into effect Tuesday, airmen who do well enough on the rest of the PT test but fail the waist measurement part of the test would go through a Body Mass Index screening.

The maximum BMI for both men and women would be 25, according to an internal Air Force document obtained by Air Force Times. Airmen who fail the BMI screening would have to meet body fat limits: 18 percent for men and 26 percent for women.

Between October 2010 and March, a total of 30,174 airmen failed the waist measurement component of the test, according to the Air Force. Of those, 5,141 airmen passed the other three parts of the PT test 348 of whom scored well enough on the rest of the PT test to get a passing score overall if the tape test results were not included.

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