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AFI change simplifies fitness appeal process

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Airmen who fail their fitness assessment now may appeal to their wing commanders rather than submit an appeal to the Air Force Board for Corrections of Military Records, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

The appeal process change is one of several updates to Air Force Instruction 36-2905, Air Force Fitness Program, that went into effect Oct. 21. In addition, the AFI reintroduces the body mass index measurement for Airmen who fail the abdominal circumference component, changes to the walk test, and adjusts the required score for Airmen who are assessed on only one fitness component.

The appeal process change corrects a policy that generated hundreds of unnecessary requests to the BCMR, which in turn resulted in longer wait times for Airmen, said Senior Master Sgt. Kreig Cressione, AFPC special programs branch.

Because of the high number of appeals, under the BCMR review process an Airman could have a 90-day or longer wait for a decision. Under the new appeal process, it could take a couple of weeks, or even days. 

"The change is positive for everyone involved," Cressione said. "Airmen don't have to wait as long for a decision on their appeal, wing commanders have the authority to adjudicate their Airmen's appeals, and the BCMR will be able to focus on other records that need review and correction."

While many BCMR appeals were for administrative errors - mistyping a number - others were the result of illness or injury prior to the test. An administrative error can be quickly resolved, but a failure must be appealed, he explained.

"Failing the assessment because you're ill or injured can't be corrected without an appeal, so you need to tell the fitness assessment cell prior to testing if you don't feel well or if you're injured," Cressione said. "You'll have to see the doctor before you can be rescheduled for your assessment, but it's better to reschedule than fail."

In addition, Airmen injured during the fitness assessment should stop their test and tell the FAC. The FAC will refer them to the medical facility for evaluation and if a doctor validates the injury or illness, the unit commander can invalidate the fitness assessment. At that point, the test can be rescheduled.

If an Airman does fail the assessment for other than administrative reasons, the appeal process begins when the Airman submits a memorandum and supporting documents to the unit fitness program manager. The UFPM submits the appeal through the unit commander to the wing commander. 

If the wing commander approves the appeal, the FAC is notified and the problem is resolved. 

For requests that are disapproved, the Airman may appeal to AFPC for consideration under a new board process called the Fitness Assessment Appeal Board.

The FAAB will convene, as needed, at AFPC to review applications when an Airman requests a secondary review of their appeal. If the FAAB disapproves the Airman's request, AFPC will notify and advise the Airman that the final appeal authority is the BCMR. 

An Airman has up to two years from the date of a fitness assessment to appeal the result to the FAAB, but the process must begin with the assessment cell. The FAAB will not review a case that has not been reviewed by the wing commander, said Cressione.

For detailed instructions on appealing a fitness assessment score and information about other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.

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