The U.S. Air Force is considering adjusting fitness requirements, so that airmen in certain career fields can forgo strict weight requirements and possibly other standards as well, Air Force Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso said Wednesday.
Grosso, who serves as the deputy chief of staff for manpower, said at an event sponsored by the Air Force Association that the idea of universal standards throughout the entire Air Force “scares a lot of people,” Air Force Magazine reports.
Following through on that idea, Grosso added that the Air Force should “think deliberately about how we value uniformity.”
Grosso noted that the Air Force is considering lowering fitness standards for the purpose of attracting talent in specific career fields.
“Do I care what a cyber warrior weighs?” Grosso asked. Grosso then brought up the question of whether a cyber warrior needs to spend a lot of energy making sure he completes a mile and a half run in appropriate time.
“Do I care if he can run a mile and a half in 12 minutes?” Grosso asked.
For Grosso, the same sort of question seems to hold true for tattoo regulations.
“Do I care that someone has a flower on their arm?” Grosso asked.
But reconsidering standards for some career fields doesn’t mean the Air Force is all of a sudden going to drop requirements it’s had for a long time, according to Grosso.
“We’re certainly going to need some people who are brawny, and we’re also going to need some people for their intellect as well,” Grosso said.
Grosso also said that the service is considering opening the door to HIV-positive people in the future, as medical treatments are advancing in effectiveness. Currently, HIV-positive people cannot be assessed into the Air Force.
While Air Force leadership has insisted in the past that it will not lower standards to accommodate women who want to serve in combat positions, it seems the service is considering lowering standards for the purpose of filling certain high-value positions, like the position of cyber warrior.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in late August, 2015, that she does not want to lower standards for women, but even in 2015, the service was considering changing standards for elite positions, as recruiters are finding it difficult to track down airmen who meet both the physical and cognitive requirements.
Air Force public affairs did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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