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EVERETT, Wash. (May 28, 2014) Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participate in the run portion of the physical readiness test. Nimitz is pierside at its homeport of Naval Station Everett. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Eli K. Buguey/Released)
EVERETT, Wash. (May 28, 2014) Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participate in the run portion of the physical readiness test. Nimitz is pierside at its homeport of Naval Station Everett. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Eli K. Buguey/Released)

7 Things to Know about Navy’s PFA Changes

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

NAVADMIN 178/15 announcing the update to Navy Physical Fitness Program, was released Aug. 3 and posted at www.npc.navy.mil.

Here are seven things to know about the Navy’s Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) changes.

1) The goal of these changes is to achieve a healthier, fitter force over the short and long term with more Sailors taking the PRT resulting in fewer failures and better mission readiness.

 “This new policy meets the goals set forth by CNO and SECNAV–a system that gets at better health and speaks to the wellness of our Sailors. We are providing COs the tools and guidance they need to encourage a culture of fitness and improve overall mission readiness.  Underneath of that, we have adjusted the BCA standards to allow more Sailors to take the PRT and prevent the unnecessary separation of quality Sailors due to outdated measurements.”

Vice Adm. Bill Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel

 

2) Key Changes Beginning Jan. 1, 2016

  • An updated Physical Activity Risk Factor Questionnaire (PARFQ) to better assess Sailor health.
  • New Navy Body Fat Percentage Standards based on a graduated scale that increases with a Sailor’s age.
  • Body Composition Assessment (BCA) Methodology:  The new method for measuring BCA will consist of a three-step process.  A Sailor who is medically cleared to participate in the PRT shall do so regardless of his or her BCA results.
  • Reduced the number of failures leading to separation from the current “ three in four years” to “two in three years.”

 

3) BCA Changes that Account for Today’s Body Types Graduated by Age

A Sailor has three opportunities to pass the BCA:

  • Apply the current height/weight tables to a Sailor.
  • Apply a single-site abdominal circumference measurement. A Sailor will pass the BCA if the abdominal circumference is less than or equal to 39.0 inches for males and less than or equal to 35.5 inches for females.
  • A Sailor will pass the BCA by meeting the DoD maximum allowable body fat limit of less than or equal to 26% for males or DoD maximum body fat limit of less than or equal to 36% for females.

Stricter Navy standards will be used to help identify Sailors well before they get to the DoD standards and risk failing the BCA, or even worse, developing health problems:

  • Males:
    • 18-21 = 22 percent
    • 22-29 = 23 percent
    • 30-39 = 24 percent
    • 40+ = 26 percent
  • Females:
    • 18-21 = 33 percent
    • 22-29 = 34 percent
    • 30-39 = 35 percent
    • 40+ = 36 percent

 

4) Transition Period to Allow Sailors to Get Healthy and Stay Navy

Effective immediately, a Sailor subject to an approved or pending administrative separation due to multiple PFA failures, who has not yet been separated, shall be offered the opportunity to be retained, providing they have CO support and pass a PRT (mock or official) by Dec. 1, 2015.

5) Getting and Keeping Sailors Healthy and Fit

A number of resources will be available to commanding officers to help ensure Sailors stay or get in shape. They include CO spot checks, command FEP, and diet/nutritional counseling.

According to the NAVADMIN, Sailors enrolled in FEP due to BCA failure shall also be enrolled in nutritional counseling.  All Sailors enrolled in FEP will be required to participate in a mock PFA every 30 days.  A Sailor will be disenrolled from FEP when he or she can pass the PRT and is within the new Navy BCA standards.

6) Recognition for those Sailors who Excel

A fitness award will be issued for Sailors who score Outstanding (any subcategory) for three consecutive PFA Cycles.  Look for details this fall.

7) Health and Fitness Initiatives in the Near Future

  • Developing a Navy-wide Registered Dietician utilization plan;
  • Enhancing SHIPSHAPE and encouraging approved civilian diet programs;
  • Establishing “Go for Green” healthy-eating pilot studies ashore and at sea;
  • Providing more support for post-partum Sailors to re-attain or exceed previous fitness goals;
  • Wearable-fitness device pilot studies to monitor caloric-intake trends, physical output, and rest;
  • Re-instating refined Physical Readiness Test scoring categories.
  • Information on each of these programs will be published between now and January 2016.

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