Posted on Apr 25, 2014
GySgt (Other / Not listed)
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When I first came to an Air Force base and saw Airmen wearing headphones in their PT gear while conducting unit physical training, I lost my mind. Ive never seen that in my career before. Then again, the Marine Corps does not allow you to wear headphones during unit physical training, physical fitness tests, combat fitness tests, etc. You have to be in civilian attire or be PTing by yourself if you want to wear headphones but even that is met with restrictions for many Marine Corps installations have base regulations prohibiting you from wearing headphones while running or biking on roads.

Anyways, I think the Army is somewhat on the lines of this? What about the Navy? How do you Airmen feel about wearing headphones whenever? Marines, do you think our rules are over kill or is it a good thing to keep our image clean?
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Lt Col Squadron Commander
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As you noted, the Air Force does allow the use of headphones during physical fitness testing. I am not sure about during unit PT sessions. While they do allow it on the track, most AF Bases do not allow them while running on base. I can understand that rule as it pertains to safety and situational awareness of your surroundings. As for wearing them on the track during the PT test or in the gym during personal training, I think it should be allowed in every branch. Why? If music can motivate me and help me push the extra mile, lift that extra weight, or shave a few seconds off my PT run, so be it.
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SGT Squad Leader
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I'm stationed on an Air Force Base and I see it all the time at the Base gym. For the Army to be in our PTs it is prohibited at all times to wear headphones. It is written directly in to the Army Physical Fitness Test regulations that we are not authorized to wear head phones or play music while taking the test. I've seen other soldiers try to do it still, usually when they're working out with their chain of command that's doing the same thing. I've learned that it's easier to talk to the hire ranking one with some tact and remind them and let them take care of it. Otherwise you're asking to start a shouting match with a lot of heavy projectiles around you. A lot of ways people get around it, particularly when you're in a hazard duty pay area, and you're not authorized to wear any civilian clothing, is to wear the tan shirt with the pt shorts. So you're technically not in uniform but you're not in civilian clothes. For Air Force, I'd look up their PT regs on it.
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SGT Squad Leader
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I found out with with AF they are authorized to wear headphones and listen to music while working out. On their PT tests, I still don't know.
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SMSgt Robert Dahl
SMSgt Robert Dahl
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AF Instruction 36-2903, paragraph 6.3.3.1.
Wear/use of an earpiece, any blue tooth technology or headphones, while in uniform, indoors or outdoors, is prohibited, unless specifically authorized for the execution of official duties. (Exception:Headphones and earphones(IPods, MP3 type players, etc.) are authorized during air travel and/or while wearing the physical training uniform (PTU) during individual or personal PT in the fitness center or on designated running areas unless prohibited by the installation commander).
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SGT Squad Leader
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So iPods and music players are authorized for Physical fitness tests, unless prohibited by command?

EDIT:I finally opened the emailed version and it has your entire response. Your first sentence doesn't show on the actual website for some reason.
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MSgt First Sergeant
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That's correct SGT Pereya. Prohibited on roads, in formations or when not working out, can't just wear them and walk around base.
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MAJ Steve Sheridan
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You are right, Army does not allow headphones during Unit PT or APFTs.

Only time I've seen Soldiers in PT uniform with headphones is at the gym lifting weights, but not during am PT hours.
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GySgt (Other / Not listed)
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So our regs are pretty much on the same page with headphones and PT gear.
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1LT Nick Kidwell
1LT Nick Kidwell
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MAJ Steve Sheridan Agreed. Not only is it against regs, it's not in keeping with decorum during organized official events, and it compromises situational awareness.

It's one thing at the gym on the treadmill, it's another thing altogether during a record APFT.
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