PT gear in high demand

  • Published
  • By Judd Anstey
  • Army and Air Force Exchange Service
For the first time in the Air Force's 59 year history, Airmen reporting for physical training must show up in the same gear beginning Sunday. 

But while several agencies have been preparing for this change for some time, the last-minute rush on the new mandatory gear is creating an overwhelming demand, resulting in backorders in certain sizes, officials at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service said. 

Mandatory Air Force PT shorts in sizes small-short, medium-short, xxx-large and xxxx-large are on backorder at McChord, said Amy Gacad, Military Clothing Sales Store manager here. She recommends people buy the PT shorts two sizes larger than usual because they "run small." 

AAFES' Air Force military clothing program manager, Maj. Brian Schooley, said what Airmen see on the shelves at Air Force military clothing sales stores is the result of a team effort. 

The major said AAFES distributes Air Force uniforms and runs clothing sales stores that are, essentially, "Air Force owned and operated uniform stores." 

McChord customers looking for any mandatory PT item on backorder may put their names on a list at MCSS. Right now, the list isn't very long, Ms. Gacad said. 

However, backorders from the military supply system are affecting some clothing sales stores. And since the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia is the only authorized PT gear source, AAFES has no choice but to continue to monitor the situation, the major said. He said the exchange service continually requests updates on the backorder status. 

"We remain committed to providing customers with the latest information and fix shortages," he said. "Until such notice is received, AAFES is asking for customers' patience as it continues to work with the military supply system to find a solution" to the PT gear shortage. 

Airmen can check the availability of the PT gear by clicking the "store locator" link at or call the MCSS at 584-9308. In addition to 90 Air Force clothing store outlets, all sizes of the new mandatory uniform should be available through the Web site -- once the backorder situation is resolved. 

(The 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs office contributed to this story.)