- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2017

Sailors who thought their time in the Navy would soon end due to fitness failures were granted a reprieve this week.

Nearly 50,000 sailors who were at risk of being discharged after March 31, 2018, due to physical fitness shortcomings have been given a de facto amnesty. A Navy-wide directive to both enlisted personnel and officers was sent out on Thursday explaining the move.

Vice Adm. Robert P. Burke, the chief of naval personnel, said the new Physical Fitness Assessment rules increase administrative flexibility without putting national security at risk.

“Retention of every capable sailor is critical to the operational readiness of the Navy,” Vice Adm. Burke wrote, Navy Times reported. “The goal of the Navy’s physical readiness program is to maintain a minimum prescribed level of fitness necessary for world-wide deployment and to maintain a sailor’s long-term health and wellness.”

Old PFA standards forced out sailors who failed two fitness assessment tests in a three-year period, whereas those same individuals may now stay in service until their current enlistment or service obligation ends.

Sailors who pass a test before their enlistment ends will essentially have the bureaucratic slate wiped clean, the newspaper reported.

The Navy’s PFA includes a Body Composition Assessment and graded rounds of push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run.

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