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Tape test terrors: Airmen share tales of drastic dieting and lost careers

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Tales of the tape, from Air Force Times’ Markeshia Ricks:

No one can escape the career-ending noose of the Air Force tape measure, not even a full colonel. In a first-of-its-kind move since the service introduced strict standards for waist measurements, a wing commander was relieved of his command for failing his physical training test.

Enlisted airmen, who have borne the majority of PT-related discharges, say welcome to the club.

Col. Tim Bush of the 319th Air Base Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., said the Air Force was “fair and just” in removing him from command March 20 after failing the waist measurement component of the service fitness assessment.

The Air Force requires airmen, regardless of height or age, to have a waist circumference that does not exceed 39 inches for men, 35.5 inches for women. With 25 years under his belt, Bush has requested to retire.

But for some airmen, failing the waist measurement won’t kick in a retirement request, but possible separation from the service.

Read the rest of Markeshia’s story over on Air Force Times.

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 31 ultramarathons. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .