- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2019

A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Japan died after undergoing a physical fitness test, marking the third such fatality within the sea service this year.

Aviation Electrician Airman Jordan Cook, 22, assigned Strike Fighter Squadron 102 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, “exhibited symptoms of illness” shortly after completing the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test on May 1. Airman Cook was sent to medical facilities at the Marine Corps base, before being transferred to a hospital off-base where he died.

Navy Times first reported details of the incident.

Airman Cook’s death comes after Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles died in late April, after collapsing after her physical fitness test. In February, Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans also collapsed and died following her physical readiness drills.

In May, the Navy unveiled a revised version of the service’s fitness test.

The new program ditched sit-ups in favor of a plank position exercise, where a sailor suspends his body weight on their elbows and feet parallel to the ground, as part of the Navy’s fitness drills beginning in 2020.

The initiative, pressed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, was due to repeated studies showing the ineffectiveness of sit-ups compared to planks. The sit-ups “do more harm than good” and are not a good marker for fitness, Adm. Richardson said Thursday.

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