Navy Cancels Spring 2020 Fitness Cycle, Delays Advancement Exams

18 March 2020

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

In response to Department of Defense efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Navy announced the delay of the spring Navy Wide Advancement Exams with NAVADMIN 069/20 and the cancellation of the spring 2020 Physical Fitness Assessment Cycle in NAVADMIN 071/20, released March 17.

In response to Department of Defense efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Navy announced the delay of the spring Navy Wide Advancement Exams with NAVADMIN 069/20 and the cancellation of the spring 2020 Physical Fitness Assessment Cycle in NAVADMIN 071/20, released March 17.

The messages were released March 17 and 18 respectively. 

The measures were taken to limit exposure of Navy personnel to the coronavirus by following guidance from Centers for Disease Control advising against large gatherings of people. 

“With these exam date changes, the Navy Advancement Center (NAC) is focused on making sure no Sailor is disadvantaged in the advancements processes,” said Tom Updike, deputy director of the NAC.

All enlisted advancement exams scheduled to be administered after March 17 are now rescheduled with the following administration dates:

  • May, 21, 2020 – Cycle 247 (E-4 only) Active Duty and Full-Time Support (FTS) regular NWAEs
  • May 22, 2020 – Cycle 106 (E-4 through E-7) Selective Reserve (SELRES) NWAEs approved for late administration on the first available drill weekend after this date
  • June 12, 2020 – Cycle 247 (E-4 through E-6) final date to administer substitute exams

The rescheduled dates result in no change to the advancement candidate’s final multiple score or eligibility requirements. Eligibility dates remain the same as listed in NAVADMIN 284/19, no new candidates will be added because of the delay.  

The delay in testing also means there will also be a shift to the right of advancement results. E-4 through E-6 Total Force advancements as well as Selected Reserve and Full-Time Support E-7 Selection Board Eligibility are anticipated to be released in July 2020. Results will be heavily dependent on commands promptly processing and returning answer sheets.  

Navy officials also cancelled the Spring PRT out of an abundance of caution to ensure COVID-19 does not spread further to Navy personnel.  

“Ultimately, the intent of the Navy’s PFA and the associated physical readiness standards are to maintain a baseline level of physical fitness for Sailors,” said Paul Rosen, acting director of the 21st Century Sailor Office, which oversees physical readiness policy for the Navy.

“This is a unique situation that calls for a unique response. We know the coronavirus is highly contagious, and unnecessarily increasing the risk of infection due to the close physical proximity required to complete the PFA is not in the best interest of our Sailors or our overall mission readiness.”  

Commands that have already begun or completed the official PFA testing should stop immediately and take no further action in Physical Readiness Information Management System. Commands that have not started the PFA should not enter any data in PRIMS for Cycle 1 2020.

Commands are also directed to stop all organized or group physical training until further notice. This includes the Fitness Enhancement Program. 

Sailors with a Soft End of Active Obligated Service before July 30 who are ineligible for retention or cannot submit a Career Waypoint application to reenlist because of PFA failures are eligible for a one-time extension, the message states. 

A commanding officer’s recommendation is required for the extension, which can’t go beyond Sept. 30, 2020. 

Additionally, all Navy commands are directed to immediately suspend all organized or group physical training, to include the Fitness Enhancement Program, until further notice.

Sailors not expecting not to participate in the spring Physical Readiness Test because they scored an excellent low or better on the fall 2019 PRT, will be required to participate this fall.

That’s because NAVADMIN 141/17 states such exemptions are only valid for the following cycle only. 

Sailors should be prepared to complete their PFA in the fall cycle. 

More information is available in NAVADMIN 069/20 and NAVADMIN 071/20.

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