Fitness/body-type testing concerns still abound in the Air Force. In fact, there's some quite recent changes begun(effective July 1) that folks may find interesting. As stated above, scoring poorly in this assessment, albiet for what seem like good reasons, absolutely WILL have a highly detrimental impact on a military career-----for enlisted and officer alike.
So, first off, yay, they got rid of BMI measurement as an official component of fitness testing awhile back. This was welcome news for many reasons, including the inherent flaws you all touched on so clearly in this thread. Now the new 'body size' component-----that in combination with running/push-ups/sit-ups makes the official twice yearly AF fitness test---is the 'abdominal circumference' measurement. This is just your waist size using a standard tape measure and you earn scores for each of the 4 categories that added together must come to a minimum of 75 total points.
This system was in place for around 5 years or so and folks were generally pretty happy with it. The beauty was supposedly in that if you lagged a bit in one area(maybe @ running, for example)but excelled in another(you're a push-up king) you could still cobble together a passing score on the whole. That's not to say you didn't have to do relatively well in everything, mind you, just that there was undeniably some wiggle room built in.
ANYWAY, ever since the 'abdominal' replaced the BMI there's been concern as there's no correlation to height and/or body frame types-----just a straight down the line male/female breakdown w/a lot of the same issues as those that affect the BMI----like the 5'5 guy and the 6'3 guy get the same number of points for a 30-whatever inch waist. The saving grace with that, though, was that you might be the 6'1-muscle-head and have what was considered an 'unhealthy' waist for a man but then go run like the wind and knock out a lot of push-ups and still pass w/a respectable score.
Well, July 1 they put into effect what are called minimum component scores where you must pass each section or else it's an automatic overall failure, so now the tall, heavily-muscled, bodybuilder guy without an ounce of fat on him might again do poorly w/the wonky abdominal circumference, but now with it the entire assessment, no matter how well he fares on anything else----it's an AUTO FAIL.
And for the record, a single fit-test failure WILL derail promotion/assignment/award opportunities and ultimately can lead to career-ending discharge. Anyone surprised to learn many are now calling for the return of the BMI??
Boo to all the measurements...
Just FYI if interested