Leadership: Air Force Strong


July 18, 2007: The U.S. Air Force has now joined the other services in making performance on physical fitness tests a factor in who gets promoted. This was a result of so many air force personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially those who went to help out the army in combat support jobs. These troops reported that they needed more physical training (PT) before going into a combat zone. This is old news for the army. Back during World War II, an army troop survey asked soldiers in combat if they thought they had gotten enough physical training before going overseas, and the majority said "no." Back during World War II, troops getting ready for combat spent a lot of time running and doing calisthenics, but once they got to the battlefield, they realized that too much was not enough.

The air force discovered early on (by 2003) that their personnel were not getting enough PT, and in 2004 increased the amount of exercise, and testing to see who was fit and who was not. However, the air force just uses a "pass/fail" system for annual PT tests. The army and marines have a numerical score, and the higher that score is, the better your promotion prospects.


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