The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a government institution mandated to serve and protect the Philippine Constitution and its people. It is a well-organized and disciplined body composed of a citizen armed force necessary for the defense and security of the State. For operational efficiency and effectiveness, the AFP is composed of three (3) Major Services: the Philippine Army (PA) which conducts ground combat operations, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) which secures the Philippine air space and the Philippine Navy (PN) which secures the Philippine territorial waters.
Each service considers the other services as brothers-in-arms and members of one big family. But how does this big organization maintain its high level of competence? Its individual members, from its top brass down to its privates, seamen and airmen, must always be in top physical and mental condition to meet the daily requirements of the body and mind in accomplishing its mission and objectives, be it pushing the enemy in combat operations and frontlines or pushing pens and papers as regard to the administrative duties of the organization.
Either way, military personnel should maintain high level of physical fitness at all times whether in the garrison or in the field. Physical fitness, as defined by Lt. Colonel Teodosio, is the possession of an individual of a healthy body, a capacity for skillful and sustained performance, an ability to recover from exertion rapidly, a desire to complete a designated task and a confidence to face any eventuality. It is in fact the ability to function effectively in physical work, training, and other activities and still have enough energy left over to handle any emergencies which may arise.
Physical fitness is a must among men in uniform. Rank, length of service or nature of assignment is never an excuse for any military personnel to disregard his state of physical readiness. Complete personnel readiness always includes physical fitness. Having a healthy body, free of disease and defects, does not necessarily label a person to be physically fit in the military service. Even prior to joining the military, there are standards applicants and candidate soldiers should reach. Military personnel should possess the attributes which are the
essential components of physical fitness: strength, endurance, agility and coordination. The AFP Regulations Board therefore enacted Circular Number 22, GHQ, AFP dated April 2, 1963 entitled Physical Conditioning and Fitness Test which was rescinded by Circular Number 1, GHQ, AFP dated July 23, 1973 and Circular Number 9, GHQ, AFP dated June 21, 1993 respectively to promulgate minimum physical achievement requirements for all military personnel and to recommend physical conditioning and fitness test within the various commands.
Furthermore, Standard Operating Procedure Number 3, GHQ, AFP entitled AFP Standard Physical Fitness Test dated July 15, 2010 is being implemented to provide a common standard in the conduct of PFT in the AFP. Based on the above, considering the values and importance of physical fitness, the researcher opted to venture on this study with the end in view of evaluating the physical fitness test performance of military personnel that will enhance his physical well-being that contributes to his over-all performance. Conceptual Framework
This study used the systems analysis paradigm utilizing the input-process-output conceptual framework (Figure 1). The inputs included the following: AFP Circular Nr 09 dated 21 June 1993, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Nr 03 dated 15 July 2010, Physical Fitness Test CY 2010 Results, and the results of survey questionnaire and personal interviews conducted by the researcher. In the process, the circular and SOP were reviewed and analyzed. PFT results were tabulated; analyzed and then statistical treatment was applied together with the results of the survey questionnaire.
The difference between the performance of male and female was also tested. Figure 1 Research Paradigm Showing the Flow of the Study The researcher also tested the relationship of the military personnel’s performance in the three (3) events included in the PFT as presented in Figure 2. The output then would be a proposal in Guidelines in the Implementation of PFT. Figure 2 Paradigm Showing the Relationship of Hypothesized Variables STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM This study aimed to evaluate the performance of military personnel in Physical Fitness Test assigned at GHQ, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City during the Calendar Year 2010.
Specifically, this study answers the following questions: What are the events included in the Physical Fitness Test being conducted among the military personnel? Is there a significant relationship in the performance of the respondents among these events? Is there significant difference between the performance of male and female military personnel? What are the factors that affect the performance of military personnel? What are the benefits of PFT among military personnel? Hypothesis The null hypotheses evaluated in this study were:
There is no significant relationship in the performance of military personnel among the events involved in the Physical Fitness Test. There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female military personnel in the Physical Fitness Test. IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY Physical fitness, as mentioned, is an essential element for the accomplishment of mission and objectives of the AFP. The AFP would benefit from this study as this Physical Fitness Test performance evaluation could become the basis to determine ways in improving the state of discipline of
the members of the organization insofar as the implementation of Physical Fitness Program and Testing is concerned. Military personnel are the ultimate beneficiaries of this study as this could serve as the basis in the formulation of strategies that would put them to the highest degree of performance in physical fitness test necessary for the most effective attainment and maintenance of combat readiness. The school administrators and teachers would also be benefitted from the results of this study.
This will remind them how important an individual’s physical fitness is, therefore, like values education, it could be integrated to the lesson. Citizenship training became important in education since the American Era; and during the Commonwealth Period curricular emphasis aside from character education was on duties of citizenship. It then became one of the fundamental aims of education since the 1973 Constitution up to the present period. It is therefore necessary for the teachers to impart their students the need for maintaining an individual’s physical fitness.
The students are another full beneficiaries of the research particularly those who are interested to join the Armed Forces or other agency like the Philippine Military Academy, Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Bureau of Investigation or any other military schools and organization that require good physical state and condition. This could motivate and challenge those candidate soldiers and officers to mentally and physically condition themselves to qualify and fit the military service.
This could also help to alleviate students’ thinking that Physical Education subjects are less important instead, this could stimulate their interest to perform well even if P. E. is just one of the minor disciplines. DEFINITION OF TERMS 2-mile or 3. 2K run. This event tests cardio-respiratory (aerobic) endurance and the endurance of the leg muscles. Body Mass Index (BMI). Body Mass Index (BMI) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as reliable indicator of body fat as a value calculated from a person’s weight and height.
This is the weight in relation to height: an index that expresses adult weight in relation to height. It is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, or 704. 5 times weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared. A body mass index of less than 25 is considered normal, and one of over 30 implies obesity. Citizen’s Army Training (CAT). This is a training program which became a part of the Philippine Education Secondary curriculum. Factors. These are something that contribute to or have an influence on the outcome of something (Microsoft Encarta® 2009.
© 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation). In this study, these are the things that contributed to the performance in physical fitness test of military personnel such as age, weight, body mass index, purpose, physical activities, lack of exercise, excessive exercise, work load, perception, vices, climate or weather and motivation. GHQ. The full form of this is General Headquarters. It is the headquarters of the AFP organization, commanded by a general, the Chief of Staff. Major Services. These are the three (3) major branches of service in the armed forces, the air force, the army and the navy.
In this study, these are the branch of service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army and the Philippine Navy. National Service Training Program (NSTP). This is a program aimed at enhancing civic consciousness and defense preparedness in the youth by developing the ethics of service and patriotism while undergoing training in any of its three (3) program components. Its various components are specially designed to enhance the youth’s active contribution to the general welfare. Office of the Special Services (OSPS).
This is an office and a unit of the AFP located in Camp Aguinaldo which assists the Chief of Staff, AFP on all matters pertaining to recreational and welfare concerns including sports development, physical fitness, and housing and health services. Performance. This pertains to the act of carrying out or accomplishing something such as a task or action (Microsoft Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation). In this study, it refers to the military personnel’s standing in Physical Fitness Test and the observable output of strength, agility and endurance. Philippine Air Force (PAF).
This is a branch of service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible in organizing, training and equipping air forces for prompt and sustained air operations. Philippine Army (PA). This is a branch of service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible in organizing, training and equipping army forces for prompt and sustained combat operations on land. Philippine Navy (PN). This is a branch of service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible in organizing, training, equipping maintaining and operating naval forces and naval aircrafts to provide waterborne support and assistance.
Physical Fitness Program. This is a series of physical or sports activities set by the AFP to maintain its member’s physical fitness and conditioning. Physical Fitness Test. This is a set of physical exercises used as a standard measurement of one’s ability to function effectively in physical work, training and other activities. It has three (3) events in this study. These are push-up, sit-up and timed 3. 2K run. Push-ups. This event measures the endurance of the chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). This is a program institutionalized under Sections 38 and 39 of Republic Act No.
7077 designed to provide military training to tertiary level students in order to motivate, train, organize and mobilize them for national defense preparedness. Sit-ups. This event measures the endurance of the abdominal and hip-flexor muscles or tests the effectiveness of the mid-body section of the individual. Test Results. The soldier’s fitness performance for each PFT event is determined by converting the raw score for each event to a point score. Properly interpreted, performance on the PFT shows the following: Each soldier’s level of physical fitness.
The entire unit’s level of physical fitness. Deficiencies in physical fitness. Soldiers who need special attention. SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY This study covered the evaluation of performance of military personnel assigned in General Headquarters (GHQ), Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City during the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) conducted in the year 2010. This also determined if there is significant difference between the performance of male and female military personnel and if there is significant relationship in the performance of military personnel among the events included in the PFT.
However, its limitations fall on the policies and standards set by the AFP embodied on the current AFP Physical Fitness Program, AFP Circular Number 09 dated 21 June 1993, on the document provided by the Office of the Special Services, AFP (OSPS, AFP), which is the PFT 2010 results and on the answers provided by the respondents in the interview and fielded questionnaire by the researcher. Delimitations would be on the aspect of time since military personnel assigned in GHQ were the only subjects taken for the study.
The subjects of the study composed of personnel from the three (3) Major Services: the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Philippine Navy (PN) from the offices under the General Headquarters ; Headquarters and Support Command. The personnel from AFP Wide Service and Support Units which has around five thousand (5,000) personnel were not included due to the limit of time allotted to conduct the study. However, this study can be considered as initial testing or pilot study that can be expanded to cover the entire AFP.
RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES The discussions presented in this section are excerpts from books, internet, journals, manuals and articles reviewed for their relevance and to give background information to the study. The researcher intended to include the review on the history of fitness to give background of its origin and emphasize its importance. On The History of Fitness and Its Importance As the 21st century approaches, one of the greatest accomplishments to be celebrated is the continuous pursuit of fitness since the beginning of man’s existence.
Throughout prehistoric time, man’s quest for fitness has been driven by a desire to survive through hunting and gathering. Today, though no longer driven by subsistence requirements, fitness remains paramount to health and well-being. Fitness has been known to be in existence for as far as pre – 10,000 BC. This was during the early man. Due to their primitive lifestyle, survival required the hunting and gathering mode of living which was a continuous task. (Hunting in the Ancient World, 1985) Most of the tribes would be forced to go for an average of 2 days hunting journeys in search of food and water.
It is in such ways that one would find that fitness was inevitable. Apart from the hunting and gathering mode of fitness, there was need for regular physical activity. (Randers-Pehrson, 1993). Such activities were in the form of traveling to the surrounding villages where one had family and / or friends which had a distance between five to thirty miles. From this information, one will see that walking such a distance was a method of fitness. When one visited such family and friends, there would be activities like dancing and cultural games that were vigorous and lasted for several hours at a time.
Such lifestyles of hunting and cultural activities required a high level of fitness. Fitness for Military Might As civilizations advanced, physical fitness was driven by art and military might. Early political and military leaders within the civilizations of Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Palestine, Persia, and Syria, realizing the importance of fitness to the efficiency and performance of military forces, encouraged fitness throughout society (Green, 1989). The best example of a civilization utilizing fitness for political and military purposes is the Persian Empire.
The Persian Empire during its height, with its policy and emphasis on high fitness eventually encompassed all of the Near East. Persian leaders demanded strict physical fitness from its people, which was accomplished through the implementation of rigid training programs. Fitness training to improve strength and stamina was not intended for health benefits, but rather to create more able soldiers to help expand the Empire (Foundations of Physical Education and Sport, 1995). Fighting skills were highly correlated with physical fitness levels, making it imperative for individuals to maintain high fitness levels.
Spartan society required males to enter special fitness programs at the age of six. This upbringing consisted of rigorous training programs that ensured all boys would grow into highly fit adult soldiers. Females were also required to maintain good physical condition for the purpose of being able to have strong offspring who could serve the state (Borrow and Brown, 1988). According to Dalleck and Kravitz, the military-dominated culture of Sparta resulted in one of the most physically fit societies in the history of mankind. Physical Fitness during the World Wars
Throughout world history, military conflicts have had major impacts on the state of fitness. Essentially, the modern fitness movement evolved out of the influence of World War I and II and subsequent development of the Cold War. With the declaration of war came the necessity to draft military personnel. Important contributions to fitness came during the 1940s, specifically from Dr. Thomas K. Cureton at the University of Illinois. Cureton introduced the application of research to fitness, which improved exercise recommendations to individuals.
Cureton not only recognized the numerous benefits of regular exercise, he strived to expand the body of knowledge regarding physical fitness. He wanted to answer questions such as how much exercise was healthy and what types of exercise were most effective. More importantly, Cureton wanted to know how physical fitness could best be measured within an individual. Among his most important contributions were developing fitness tests for cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.
His research resulted in multiple recommendations for the improvement of cardio-respiratory fitness, including the identification of exercise intensity guidelines necessary for improved fitness levels. His suggestions became the fundamental basis behind future exercise programs (CSU Class Project Reference for Thomas Cureton). Then Kennedy became more involved in national fitness promotion and started youth pilot fitness programs. His commitment to fitness can best be summarized when he said, “Physical fitness is the basis for all other forms of excellence. ” (1962) In the 20th century, fitness became an industry.
The military draft showed how woefully out of shape and unfit for combat Americans were. This brought government attention to the lack of fitness of its citizenry. This led to the establishment of minimum fitness standards not only in the military but among country’s public schools as well. Section II of the US Army Field Manual 21-20, Physical Training (Oct 1957) states the following importance of Physical Fitness: (a) Improves Sense of Well-Being. The physically fit individual enjoys a feeling of well-being and confidence in his ability to meet any emergency. (b) Improves Appearance.
Physical conditioning tends to harden the muscles, eliminate fat, and improve the muscle tone. This results in better posture and an improved soldierly appearance. (c) Improves Ability to Accomplish Mission. The well-conditioned soldier is able to march long distances through rugged country with a full pack weapon, and ammunition. He is physically able to drive fast-moving tanks and trucks over rough terrain; make assaults after running and crawling long distances; jump into and out of foxholes and over obstacles; lift and carry heavy objects; and keep going for many hours without sleep or rest.
He has the strength and determination to avoid capture and, if captured, to resist efforts to break his will and lesson his desire for escape. He is physically capable of exploiting any opportunity to escape and, after escaping, of enduring severe hard-ship until he can make his way to friendly lines. (d) Improves Emotional State. There is a close relationship between physical fitness and mental and emotional fitness, or morale. Fatigue, weakness, and physical exhaustion are usually associated with low morale.
The rugged, tough, well-conditioned soldier has a feeling of fitness and confidence and is much less susceptible to many of the factors and attitudes that undermine morale. On Components of Physical Fitness The American College of Sports Medicine states that physical fitness is divided into three components: health-related, skill- related and physiologic components. The health related components of physical fitness are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
The physiological components of fitness are metabolic fitness, morphologic fitness and bone integrity. The skilled related components of physical fitness are speed, power, agility, coordination, balance, and reaction time. In Lt Col Emmanuel Teodosio’s book entitled “The Marine Troop Leader”, he discussed the four (4) components of physical fitness that a military must possess, namely; strength, endurance which has two (2) types – muscular endurance and cardio-respiratory endurance, agility and coordination. While books and manuals on physical fitness like the Nutrition Peak Performance Manual from
www. wellness. com and www. myfit. ca /archives websites, state that there are five (5) components. Included in the five main basic components of physical fitness are: (1) Cardiovascular endurance – Of all the five components of physical fitness, perhaps the most prominent is cardiovascular endurance, as it is key for your overall health and performance. Cardiovascular endurance simply denotes the efficiency and capability of your heart to supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues as well as to eliminate toxic elements from your body.
Some of the physical activities that help to achieve cardiovascular endurance are jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling. (2) Muscular Strength – This component of physical fitness is determined by the amount of force or strength that your muscles could pick up and exert at a time. Among all the physical fitness components, muscular strength is probably the only component that is directly connected to the amount and nature of activity or work-out you undertake.
A well-devised fitness program, especially weight lifting and strength training, could help you to enhance the muscle’s capability to put forth force and retain contraction, thereby aiding to improve your overall health, in addition to strengthening your bones and reducing the chances of developing diseases such as osteoporosis. (3) Muscular Endurance – Even though muscular strength and muscular endurance are linked, both of them are different. Muscular endurance is all about your muscle’s ability to undergo repeated contractions without deteriorating.
One of the significant ways to achieve muscular endurance is via switching up your exercise program and gaining from a continuum of exercises such as biceps curls, leg extensions, hamstring curls, and chest presses. (4) Body Composition – This implies the ratio of your body fat to body lean mass. If your body fat is high, it indicates that you are not fit enough to undertake even your day to day activities. Further, high body fat is associated with conditions such as obesity, coronary heart problems, arthritis, joint pains, and diabetes.
On contrary, if your body lean mass is high, it means that your bones, muscles and tissues are healthy. (5) Flexibility – Last but not least is the physical flexibility, which indicates the ability of your muscles as well as joints to move at its fullest level. Improved flexibility could help you achieve a number of benefits such as healthy joints, strengthened back, and minimized risk muscle tendon injuries. Enhanced body movement flexibility could be accomplished through an appropriate fitness program. On Benefits of Physical Fitness
In general, being physically fit helps an individual to achieve a continuum of benefits. Among the immediate benefits of physical fitness programs are: (1) Enhanced Appearance – Fitness programs not only helps for one’s body’s detoxification process but also to tone skin and body. This in turn helps to achieve gorgeous, glowing skin, apart from enhanced overall appearance. (2) Improved immunity system – Proper and balanced fitness programs help to improve immunity system, thereby safeguarding the body from infections and ailments.
(3) Strengthened bones – Several studies reveal that both men and women begin to lose bone mass from a very young age of 30 – 35. But, undertaking certain fitness-related exercises such as walking, jogging, and weight lifting help to strengthen bones. This in turn minimizes the risk of osteoporosis. (4) Reduced Back Pain – Exercise programs focused to flatten abs and lower back muscles help to strengthen lower, upper, and oblique muscles, which in turn aid to reduce back pain. (5) Self Confidence – If one could achieve a good appearance through effective fitness programs, it would help to undertake any action with much confidence.
(6) Better Sleep – Undertaking proper exercise programs enable a person to sleep faster and longer. This in turn helps to wake up early, thereby allowing him to remain fresh and active the whole day. Other obvious benefits of proper physical fitness programs are: (1) Minimized risk of developing cardiac related problems, (2) Normalizing blood pressure, (3) Burning out bad cholesterol, (4) Healthy sex life, (5) Lowering the chances of developing certain kinds of diseases such as colon cancer and (6) Enhanced metabolism.
The above mentioned benefits are benefits in terms of the total-wellness and health of an individual. A study on “The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance” (July 2010) conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services at Atlanta, GA showed positive result that student physical activity may help improve academic performance including academic achievement (e. g. , grades, standardized test scores); academic behavior (e. g. , on-task behavior, attendance); and factors that can positively influence academic achievement
(e. g. concentration, memory, attention, improved classroom behavior). For the military, other than the cited benefits, physical fitness enhances combat readiness. Physical fitness determines service retention and career or rank advancement of military personnel. On Maintaining Physical Fitness Maintaining general fitness should be everyone’s goal. Physical fitness improves and maintains the sense of general well-being. There are many ways to improve health, and an individual can design how and when to achieve an optimum program that is right for him.
The inclusion of CAT in the secondary curriculum and ROTC and NSTP in the tertiary curriculum is for the preparation of the youth since they are the “reserve force” in case of military personnel shortage in times of war and armed conflicts. Likewise, Republic Act No. 9163 recognizes the youth’s vital role in nation-building, to wit: “…the State shall promote civic consciousness among the youth and shall develop their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism, nationalism, and advance their involvement in public and civic affairs.
In pursuit of these goals, the youth, the most valuable resource of the nation, shall be motivated, trained, organized and mobilized in military training, literacy, civic welfare and other similar endeavors in the service of the nation. ” (Section 2) It is therefore important to maintain physical fitness among the youth since it is essential to such programs and trainings. The guidelines below represent standards for adults (How to Maintain General Fitness, 2011): (1) Exercise consistently and regularly.
Record the number of exercise days per week, (2) To maintain general fitness, design an exercise program that increases the cardiovascular efficiency and endurance, (3) Use variety to build muscular strength and endurance, (4) Stretch frequently, before and after exercise to increase flexibility, (5) Measure the optimal body composition and seek to improve the body composition over time, (6) Vary the intensity, or the degree of physiological stress, on isolated muscles and (7) Pay attention to duration, or length of time, of each workout session, and attempt to increase the duration.
On Fitness Testing Former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt Gen Alexander Yano said, “Physical fitness has always been as old as the organization itself. It’s been a requirement for everybody to be generally fit and there is no exemption. It doesn’t say that generals are exempted so we will tow the line. ” There can be several arguments in favor of requiring recruits to pass a fitness test. In some areas, such as law enforcement personnel, there is a documented high level of serious health risk problems in terms of cardiovascular disease, lower back disorders and obesity.
To minimize this known risk, physical fitness is encouraged. Physical fitness has also been demonstrated to be a bone fide occupational qualification. Job analyses that account for physical fitness have demonstrated that the fitness areas are underlying factors determining the physiological readiness to perform a variety of critical tasks. Fitness level has also been shown to be predictive of sick time and job performance indicators. When trying to maximize performance, it is important to determine the individual’s ability in each aspects of performance.
Fitness testing attempts to measure individual components of performance, with the ultimate aim of studying and maximizing the person’s ability in each component. Therefore, physical fitness can be an important area for minimizing liability. The unfit person is less able to respond fully to strenuous physical activity. Consequently, the risk of not performing physical duties is increased. The following shows the benefits of Fitness Testing: (1) Identify Weaknesses and Strengths.
Of the many benefits of fitness testing, the major use is to establish the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. By comparing results to the previous or past results, one can see the areas which they improvement, and the training program can be modified accordingly. This way valuable training time can be used more efficiently. (2) Monitor Progress. The initial testing session can give the individual an idea of where his fitness levels are at the start of a program, so that future testing can be compared to this and any changes can be noted.
A baseline is especially important if one is about to embark on a new training phase. Subsequent tests should be planned for the end and start of each new phase. By repeating tests at regular intervals, he can get an idea of the effectiveness of the training program. (3) Provide Incentives. The incentive to improve can often be provided by the ‘goal’ of a certain test score. By knowing that they will be tested again at a later date, the individual can aim to improve in that area. (4) Talent Identification.
Testing is primarily used for help in designing the most appropriate agile training program. A general non-sport specific testing battery can provide with an idea of basic strengths and weaknesses, although testing has sometimes been used in this way for talent identification, it has generally not been very reliable in predicting the future success of juniors, mainly due to varying growth patterns (Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 1986). On United States Armed Forces PFT
After having discussed the birth of fitness, its components and benefits, as well as the reasons and importance of fitness testing, the researcher would like to further tackle on the differences in the way of conducting PFT among the Major Services of United States compared to how the AFP conducts it. The AFP Physical Fitness Program is patterned after the United States Physical Program though in the United States, each of the Services has its own directives that govern Physical Fitness programs.