Fitness Education Officer
The fitness education officer is responsible for ensuring the cadet fitness program is implemented successfully. This officer teaches the skills and knowledge that cadets need to live physically active, healthy lives. They conduct classroom training, monitor the cadets’ performance in physical fitness activities, mentor cadets informally, assist with goal setting and assessment, and organize cadet fitness activities. Overall, they work to help cadets attain a healthy level of fitness and prepare them for an active life. Fitness officers do not need to be elite athletes, but should model an active lifestyle for cadets.
Fitness officers need to be familiar with the following publications:
- CAPR 60-1, Cadet Program Management (chapters 1, 2, and 5)
- CAPP 60-50, Cadet Physical Fitness Program
- CAPP 1-10, Suggest Best Practices for Including Individuals With Special Needs
- CAPP 60-11 CP Officer Handbook
This is a good position for a volunteer who wants to serve for one or two meetings per month plus an occasional Saturday or more.
Key Duties & Best Practices
- Teach & Inspire Cadets. The FEO shares his or her enthusiasm for fitness and nutrition, acting as a classroom teacher or activity leader. By teaching cadets about healthy lifestyles and exposing them to different sports, games and exercises the FEO aims to support lifelong healthy and physical activity.
- Manage the Fitness Program. Units are required to offer at least one hour of fitness programing each month, with most of the time spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activity. Cadet NCOs should lead the majority of the cadet fitness activities and classes. The FEO will set the standards for the fitness program and help coach the NCOs to be as hands-on as possible with their experience level. The FEO should require new NCOs to provide a detailed outline before they teach a class and demonstrate a strong understanding of the fitness activity before they lead it. As cadets gain more experience they’ll need less direct oversight, but the FEO remains the person responsible for ensuring the fitness program is delivered appropriately to cadets.
- Mentor Cadets. Every cadet will have different fitness goals. The FEO will help cadets set their fitness goals appropriately and create their plans to reach them. Encourage cadets to use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting process (see CAPP 60-31, Cadet Staff Handbook) and track their progress. FEOs will encourage the discussion of fitness goals during leadership feedback meetings and promotion review board. Note that the process of setting the goal and working diligently to attain it is more important than whether the goal is met. The FEO will help to recognize cadets’ fitness achievements and encourage those who are struggling.
- Lead Outreach Activities. The FEO will look beyond the squadron into the local community and wing. Encourage squadron participation in local fitness events, such as bike races or fun runs. The squadron might also volunteer to work at these events, assisting with parking, water stops, etc. to support fitness in their local community. The FEO may also help to organize wing or group cadet fitness events, such as a Wing Ironman challenge or Cadet Olympics.
- Conduct Fitness Assessments. Conduct the CPFT fitness assessment quarterly, or more frequently as necessary, to assist cadets in measuring their fitness. The FEO will be familiar with the testing protocols of CAPP 60-50 and instruct cadets how to perform the exercises. After the assessment, the FEO will ensure that the cadets’ results are recorded in eServices