Exacting Pounds of Flesh at Grand Forks

  • Share
  • Read Later
Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Xavier Navarro

Colonel Tim Bush, center, at an awards ceremony in December.

If the Air Force wanted to keep its folks slim and trim, perhaps it shouldn’t base thousands of them at a place called Grand Forks.

The service announced Wednesday that it has relieved Colonel Tim Bush, commander of the 319th Air Base Wing at the North Dakota base for “failure to comply with physical fitness standards.”

Bush told airmen at a commander’s call that he failed the waist-measurement component of the Air Force’s physical fitness test, the independent Air Force Times reported. Bush has requested to retire, the paper said.

Bush, a 1988 Air Force Academy graduate with more than 2,100 hours flying mostly tanker aircraft, also served a Presidential Advance Agent for Air Force One from 1997 to 1999.

It is impressive to walk around the Pentagon – and most U.S. military installations – and see all the uniformed ramrods. There are exceptions, but spending time among military personnel leaves one with the impression that the rest of the nation needs to get in shape.

The Air Force takes this stuff seriously — here is how Air Force regs now require one’s waist (“AC” in AF lingo) be measured:

Individuals conducting AC measurements will be of the same gender as the member being taped and certified…as an official taper.

Tape measure made of non-stretch (fiberglass) material will be used for the AC.

Tester will locate a horizontal landmark just above the right iliac crest.

Tester will place the tape on a horizontal plane around the abdomen at the level of the landmark. Ensure the plane of the tape is parallel to the floor and is snug, but does not compress the skin. Take the measurement at the end of a normal respiration.

Take the circumference measure three times and record each measurement, rounding down to the nearest ½ inch. If any of the measures differ by more than one inch from the other two, take an additional measurement. Add the 3 closest measurements, divide by 3, and round down to the nearest ½ inch. Record this value as the AC measure.

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

USAF / Corey Parrish

Air Mobility Command’s statement on Bush’s ouster noted that “Bush was not relieved for alleged misconduct or wrongdoing.”

Meanwhile, in other Air Force news, the service has launched a, ahem, pilot program called “Better Foods, Better Bodies” to encourage healthier eating in its ranks.

“We want airmen and their families to live long, healthy lives,” Mary Balch of the Air Force Medical Operations Agency said. “We know a lot of that depends on what they put into their bodies.”