Do these Air Force fitness standards make sense?

Well the article I read them in is about trying to figure out if they do, but still, some humble opinions …

The article is about research aimed at

Note “airmen” is a term that applies to males and females and the goal is that testing would apply all airmen.

Meanwhile the article states that current standardsinclude:

6 pull-ups in a minute
50 sit-ups in a minute
35 push-ups in a minute
A 3 mile run completed in 24 minutes or less, and
1500 meter fin swim completed in 34 minutes or less.

To me it seems that the strength tests are a pretty low bar but I know many very fit individuals who can keep running for many many miles who would be hard pressed to keep up an 8 minute mile pace for 3 miles. (Me? I got short legs!)

Not sure if Science just has it wrong this time as the Air Force Personnel Center lists these standards. That uses a 1.5 mile run and gives a pass for under 13.14 in the under 30 group (that’s about 8 min 45 sec per mile) and for old farts like me (the 50 to 59 group) 15.50 passes (a 10min 20 sec/mile pace).


Isn’t the article just talking about the USAF airmen who do ground combat and rescue operations? If you’re a flight surgeon or a JAG lawyer or even a drone pilot, the brass maybe aren’t asking you to prove your worth in a three-mile run or a fin swim.

This. The chart specifies “Battle Field Airmen”.

Yeah. My husband is AF, and has never been required to do a pull up or swim in a fit test. The women’s standards are really low, iirc. I could easily pass without any training.

Ah. That helps. Still does not explain then why the strength portions are such a relatively low bar, to my read anyway.

Low bar for you maybe, but when I was at my fittest - running marathons and fighting competitively, I was never able to do 6 pull-ups. The other tests would have been cake.

Well then let me ask the question in a different way:

Which of those standards would present the biggest challenge for each of you?

Okay few of us will know how we can do on a 1500 m fin swim.

BTW, I do like the idea of the AF trying to actually correlate testing for fitness with at least simulations of what the fitness is actually for.