Barnes Center reminder: PT and uniform non-compliance could result in removal

  • Published
  • By Brian Ferguson
  • Barnes Center for Enlisted Education

Airmen attending enlisted professional military education courses could be sent back to their units for failing to meet standards starting May 1, according to a recent Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education operational order.

“All students must satisfactorily meet Air Force physical fitness assessment and dress and appearance standards, and non-compliant students will be released without prejudice back to their duty stations,” BCEE OPORD 24-02: Updated EPME PT and UOD Standards Guidance stated.

The order, published and distributed to Airmen on Jan. 26, 2024, outlines the uniform and physical training expectation for students attending enlisted professional military education. Commandants at applicable EPME schools, however, can make exceptions or modifications due to specific mission concerns or unforeseen circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Permanent and semi-permanent physical or religious profiles will be honored.

“Students who attend EPME are expected to meet and adhere to service-specific physical training readiness standards and uniform dress and appearance requirements,” Col. Damian Schlussel, BCEE commander, said. “These standards will be validated within the first five academic days.”

Students with profiles should forward all profile information to their applicable school’s commandants for approval no later than 15 days prior to the class start date. Students who are sent home for not meeting standards remain eligible to return for a future class.

The order applies to all EPME schools with 20 or more academic days that use BCEE curricula, which includes the Airman Leadership School, the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course.

Sister service and civilian student will not be sent home for failing to meet PT or dress and appearance standards but will become ineligible for awards.

“Despite the prerequisites for EPME attendance, a current and passing PT test and command endorsement, we still have too many Airmen failing mock physical fitness assessments and not meeting dress and appearance standards,” Schlussel said. “It’s about Air Force readiness.”