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Working Out in ABUs

Ellsworth AFB, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 


I recently asked the Bellemy Fitness Center staff if I could work out in my ABUs. Fitness Center staff members told me that it is unauthorized IAW AFI 34-266 (Air Force Fitness and Sports Programs), section 1.6.1. During my last two deployments we were able to use the weights while wearing our uniforms with the option to remove our tops. It made it really easy to get in a quick workout without having to change out of my uniform into PT gear and back into a uniform afterward. Maybe I got spoiled, but I really enjoyed the ability to get in a few sets in 15-20 minutes. I made it a part of my daily routine everyday during my lunch break and dramatically improved my physical fitness.
I understand why cardio in ABUs isn't appropriate; boots would damage cardio equipment, apart from the obvious personal appearance and hygiene issues. Weight training is another story, however, and I don't see any harm in working out in the weight room and nautilus room. Will you please consider creating a local policy that would allow for Airmen to work out in ABUs specifically in the strength training portions of the fitness center?

Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark

First, thanks for your interest in personal physical fitness--it should be an essential part of everyone's day. Air Force guidance seeks to maintain a proper image in both a military and family fitness facility. AFI 34-266 clearly states that "Military uniforms, or part thereof, casual slacks/shorts, and jeans are considered non-exercise attire and are not to be worn."
Several deployed locations permit the limited wear of military uniforms in fitness centers to meet mission requirements, normally geared towards those AFSCs providing emergency response (Alert crews, Fire Dept, EOD, Medical support teams). These facilities primarily serve deployed forces, not family members/guests.
I feel the current guidance establishes a reasonable standard for appropriate attire at our facility. Thanks for your feedback, I strongly encourage your continued use of our fitness center to meet your personal fitness goals.