The Chief of Naval Personnel released guidance March 9, outlining changes to the Navy's Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) program, announced last fall, that are critical for the fleet to understand.
The updated implementation guidance detailed in NAVADMIN 061/16 is effective immediately and lists several changes to the Physical Fitness Assessment, including specific Body Composition Assessment (BCA) procedures and measurement rules for Command Fitness Leaders (CFL), guidance for commanding officers concerning how to establish a spot check program, and new scoring tables.
"A healthier and fitter force is created by more than just a twice-a-year test," said Rear Adm. Ann Burkhardt, director, 21st Century Sailor Office. "This guidance helps establish a culture of fitness in the Navy and keeps Sailors on the best path for staying fit both now and in the future. The goal of these changes is to achieve a healthier, fitter force with more Sailors taking the PRT resulting in fewer failures and better mission readiness."
The new BCA consists of a three-step process. The first measurement uses the current height/weight tables. If in standards, Sailors will pass the PFA. If an individual fails to meet those standards, a single-site abdominal circumference measurement will be conducted. The final opportunity for Sailors to pass the BCA will be a test using the previous system of neck and waist measurements to calculate body fat percentages. Sailors will pass the BCA by meeting the DoD maximum allowable body fat limit of less than or equal to 26 percent for males or 36 percent for females.
If a Sailor fails the BCA, it will constitute an overall PFA failure. Additionally, individuals will be evaluated by a medical provider, enrolled in the Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP), and provided nutritional counseling.
Sailors who are medically cleared to take the PRT must also participate in the test regardless of BCA results, and will face separation from the Navy if they fail two PFAs in a three-year period, a change from previous rules.
Additionally, commanding officers are now empowered to conduct BCA spot check programs to ensure Sailors are staying within standards. This moves the Navy beyond a two-test-a-year system, by giving commands the ability to identify Sailors in need of additional support without subjecting them to administrative punishments that result from an actual BCA/PRT failure.
Last, the message also explains the administrative steps that commands will take to close out the records from Cycle 2, 2015, specifically for the group of Sailors that need letters of correction for exceeding BCA standards, were in a deployed/operational status, medically waived, or pregnant during the PFA cycle.
For more information, please view NAVADMIN 061/16, at www.npc.navy.mil.
More information on PFA rules and procedures are available on the physical readiness page of the 21st Century Sailor Office at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/physical/Pages/default2.aspx
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.