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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

The AFA Cadet Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

Updated: Feb 12

Cadets must stay in shape and the PFT proves it!

AFA cadet running the physical fitness test (PFT)

Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy must take the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) twice a year to measure their overall strength and conditioning. Proficiency is required in both the PFT as well as the Aerobic Fitness Test (AFT), which consists of a 1.5 mile run conducted at a different time than the PFT. Cadets are required to take both the PFT and AFT each semester of their cadet career, except for seniors who do not take the final one prior to their graduation.

The test consists of the five events noted in the table below. The test pace and timing is very similar to the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) that all AFA candidates must accomplish during the application process. However, readers will note the absence of the CFA's kneeling basketball throw and the shuttle run. Instead, the run is much shorter at 600 yards and the standing long jump is added for a total of five PFT events.

The table outlines the averages and the maximums for each event for men and women.

AFA PFT standards, mean and maximum scores

The fitness-testing program, the PFT and AFT, serves many purposes, including:

  • Promoting maximum fitness among the cadet wing

  • Developing a foundation for a lifetime of fitness

  • Recognizing cadets who excel in maintaining their personal fitness

Those members of the Cadet Wing who achieve the maximum point total on either the PFT or AFT belong to the prestigious 500 Club. Those few cadets who achieve maximum scores on both belong to the exclusive 1000 Club.

Typically, the PFT is held over six days at the Cadet Field House and is usually during the cadets' PE period, which are the following three periods of time during the academic day: 7:30 - 8:45 am, 9:30 - 10:45 am, and 2:00 - 3:15 pm.

All cadets are expected to be in great shape as they prepare for their Air Force careers. The PFT (and the AFT) are ways that USAFA employs to ensure cadets fulfill this goal. As a candidate, preparing for the CFA, or an appointee preparing to enter the Academy, you should start now to achieve your best fitness!

[I would welcome a chance to discuss details with you. I offer coaching services to pace and prepare you (and your parents!) for the entire Academy application process, including your physical fitness! Contact me at chris@cbbrechin.com, 503.515.7406 or complete my contact form on the home page.]

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