USAF: Physical Screening Predictors during an Aptitude Test

Research Paper Title

Physical Screening Predictors for Success in Completing Air Force Phase II Air Liaison Officer Aptitude Assessment.


Air Liaison Officer Aptitude Assessment (AAA) attrition is often associated with a lack of candidate physical preparation. The Functional Movement Screen, Tactical Fitness Assessment, and fitness metrics were collected (n = 29 candidates) to determine what physical factors could predict a candidate s success in completing AAA.


Between-group comparisons were made between candidates completing AAA versus those who did not (p < 0.05). Upper 50% thresholds were established for all variables with R2 < 0.8 and the data were converted to a binary form (0 = did not attain threshold, 1 = attained threshold). Odds-ratios, pre/post-test probabilities and positive likelihood ratios were computed and logistic regression applied to explain model variance.


The following variables provided the most predictive value for AAA completion: Pull-ups (p = 0.01), Sit-ups (p = 0.002), Relative Powerball Toss (p = 0.017), and Pull-ups × Sit-ups interaction (p = 0.016).


Minimum recommended guidelines for AAA screening are Pull-ups (10 maximum), Sit-ups (76/2 minutes), and a Relative Powerball Toss of 0.6980 ft × lb/BW. Associated benefits could be higher graduation rates, and a cost-savings associated from temporary duty and possible injury care for nonselected candidates. Recommended guidelines should be validated in future class cycles.


McGee, J.C., Wilson, E., Barela, H. & Blum, S. (2017) Physical Screening Predictors for Success in Completing Air Force Phase II Air Liaison Officer Aptitude Assessment. Military Medicine. 182(S1), pp.281-286. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00199.


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