Tailored Fitness: Culture Clash in the Quest for Combat-Fit Airmen
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Over the past several decades, USAF senior leaders have expressed hope for and have even directed the establishment of fitness as a lifestyle. The term fitness culture in this essay implies an emphasis on fitness as internally motivated rather than in response to external pressures, such as evaluations. Although leaders have attempted to develop an Air Force fitness culture, their intent has been inconsistent with other, more dominant cultural influences within the Air Force. The evidence will illustrate how competing influences make the Air Force as an institution ambivalent toward physical fitness, and thus why a fitness culture has not taken root within the service. This thesis will present a two-pronged recommendation based on both a short- and long-term effort. The short-term recommendation will call for AFSC-specific standards, while the long-term effort will still focus on cultivating and then strengthening a service-wide fitness culture. Ultimately, the goal is for Airmen not only to take charge of their fitness program, but also to incorporate a fitness lifestyle consistent with deeply held facets of its own organizational culture. If implemented, the recommendations aim to tailor fitness programs to the diverse warfighting needs of its Airmen, while fostering a fitness lifestyle in the service writ large to increase workplace productivity and cultivate a healthier force.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations