Brendan Degryse


Being in good physical condition is an important part of military life. Fitness tests are carried out frequently, and being in shape could save the life of someone in a combat role. A fitness test must be taken to get into a service academy. Because fitness is such an important part of my future career, I do my best to stay in shape.


To get into the United States Air Force Academy or the United States Military Academy, a fitness test must be passed. It's called the Candidate Fitness Assessment, or CFA for short. It consists of a basketball throw from the knees, pull-ups (women have the option of doing a flexed arm hang instead), a 30 ft shuttle run (run 30 feet down and back two times), crunches, push-ups, and a one mile run.

Basketball Throw Pull-ups Shuttle Run Crunches Push-ups Run
My CFA (Passed) 53' 14 9.3 95 66 6:34
Average 69' 12 8.1 81 62 6:29
Best Possible 102' 18 7.8 95 75 5:20


Running is a very important part of physical fitness in the military. A Naval Academy graduate and current Marine F/A 18 pilot told me that officers in the military run a lot. He wasn't great at running, and he had to learn. I was terrible at running, and now I'm okay. I try and run every other day. My best 5K time is 23:18 and my best one mile time is 6:34. I also occasionally ruck instead of run, even though the Air Force doesn't do much rucking.


Sandhurst is a military skills competetion held annually at the United States Military Academy. Cadets from military academies across the world and Army ROTC cadets from the U.S. participate over 36 hours to win the competition for their academy or detatchment. The course is 27 miles, and involves rucking, land navigation, and firearms. The United States Air Force Academy sends a team to Sandhurst every year, and won for the first time in 2018. Since competition between countries started in 1994, West Point has won 4 times, meaning the Air Force Academy constitutes 1/5 of the U.S. Sandhurst wins (no other school from the U.S. has won.) I hope to be a part of the Air Force Academy Sandhurst team. The process to get on the Air Force Academy Sandhurst team consists of a fitness test and an interview. Sandhurst 2021 took place on April 17th and 18th, and was won by USMA Black (West Point). More information and results available here. Due to Covid there were no international teams.