The Navy will grant a clean slate to nearly 50,000 sailors with fitness failures in their records, part of new shakeup for fleet-wide fitness rules announced Thursday.
A new Navy-wide message instructs commands to immediately stop discharging sailors for fitness failures and to cancel any pending discharges for sailors slated to be kicked out after March 31. The change applies to both enlisted and officers.
The message also unveils a new set of rules for the Physical Fitness Assessment, bringing to an end the rules forcing sailors to leave the Navy if they failed two fitness assessment tests in a three-year period.
The Navy’s Physical Fitness Assessment, or PFA, is a two-part process consisting of a Body Composition Assessment and a Physical Readiness Test. The test grades sailors, based on their age, on push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run.
Other major changes will include making sailors take a body fat test immediately after reporting to a new command and also making sailors who fail the fitness test ineligible for advancement or frocking.
The new PFA rules are part of a broader effort to keep more sailors in uniform at a time when the Navy is trying to increase end strength by over 4,100 by the end of the current fiscal year in September 2018.
“Retention of every capable Sailor is critical to the operational readiness of the Navy,” Vice Adm. Robert P. Burke, the chief of naval personnel wrote.