PT excellence, on and off duty

U.S. Air Force Airmen participate in a 5k run during a physical training session on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 5,2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen participate in a 5k run during a physical training session on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 5,2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- One way units around the Air Force attempt to keep their Airmen in fighting shape is mandatory group physical training. With more demanding test requirements than ever before, squadron PT isn't enough for most. As a result, there has been an increase in discharges due to Airmen not being able to meet the PT test standards.

While in tech school, I was only able to work out twice a week. Unfortunately, this is more than most squadrons do routinely. As a result, I noticed major changes in my score when it came time to test. My run time had increased almost two full minutes while my push ups and sit ups had each decreased.

During my stay, I was only able to do personalized workouts a handful of times due to detachment curfews, schoolwork, and limited gym hours. While working out in our squadron PT sessions, I would try to push myself as much as I could, but because they were too short and infrequent my fitness level continued to drop.

By the time I had gotten to D-M, I was fully aware that I needed to take advantage of my increased free time and get into the gym. I knew that it was my personal responsibility to get into and stay in fighting shape.

Squadron PT is a tool used by commanders to increase the level of fitness throughout the Air Force. As Airmen, it is our personal responsibility to make sure we are getting all that we need. For example, if your squadron does strength training but you need to work on lowering that run time, make it a priority to get on the track in your free time.

Not all Airmen are the same. Therefore, not all squadron PT sessions are going to be equally beneficial. As an Air Force at war, each individual needs to be ready at all times not just the month of their PT test.