Airman reclaims fitness after PT fail
By Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Lambert, 109th AW Public Affairs
/ Published December 08, 2017
STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- It was just another routine physical fitness test for Master Sgt. Jeffrey Jordan, a propulsion work leader assigned to the 109th Maintenance Squadron here, but it ended up being the wake-up call he didn’t even know he needed. The cold reality of a PT failure gave Jordan the realization he could no longer skate by doing the minimum.
Jordan stated he passed all aspects of his fitness test, but failed to pass the waist measurement by a mere half- inch.
Jordan said his lifestyle before the failure consisted of poor eating habits and inactivity.
Master Sgt. Keith Eriole, non-commissioned officer in charge of the fitness program with the 109th Services Flight, taped Jordan three times and could not pass him because his waist was over acceptable inches allowed by Air Force standards.
“If an Airman fails a component of the fitness assessment they automatically fail the assessment, no matter how well they did on the other components,” said Eriole.
“I felt miserable,” said Jordan.
“I did what I had to do each year to pass with a minimum score by practicing only what I had to do, no more,” said Jordan.
“In this case, Jordan failed his waist measurement; even though it was not by much there was nothing I could do for him at that point,” said Eriole. “Fast forward to September 2017, Jordan passed every component including the waist measurement.”
“I appreciate Eriole’s integrity in the program, it forced me to take action to correct my own inadequacies and be able to look myself in the mirror,” said Jordan.
“If failing the fitness assessment in April made him start living a healthier life style, then I'm all for that but the member decided to do that on his own; I was just doing my job,” said Eriole.
The PT score affects all aspects of an Airmen’s military career; a failure could keep them from promotions and educational training opportunities, according to Air Force guidance.
“The fitness team will do everything in our power to help a member do well on the fitness assessment, because if you fail the assessment one time you are not eligible to be promoted, second time ineligible to reenlist and so forth,” said Eriole.
“You can’t wait and worry about passing once a year, it has to be continuous,” said Jordan.
“For those personnel who struggle with fitness assessments, don't assume that you can show up for the fitness assessment and do well, because those are the members that often fail,” said Eriole. “When I ask if they have been practicing, most of the time the answer is no; my advice is to keep practicing throughout the year and not wait until it's time to do the assessment.”
Jordan advises Airmen struggling with PT to find a program that works for them and stick with it; consistency is key to long-term success.
Jordan began his fitness come-back with a couch to cross-fit six-week program, which he stuck with and continued.
“My current fitness regimen is three days of a cross-fit type workout and two days of cardio, while I maintain a healthy diet with a watchful eye on portion size,” said Jordan.
“By continuing I feel stronger and more confident,” he said.
Jordan said he encourages the Airmen in his unit with words that his coach used to encourage him along the way: “It’s going to be a struggle at first, but it gets easier.”
Jordan said he has planned to keep up the hard work and said that he may even try a 5-k in the future.
Airmen who may be struggling with low PT scores or have failed and would like help are urged to get in touch with the services fitness team or their unit fitness program monitor.