The Navy plans to resume physical fitness testing July 1. The single 2021 Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) cycle will continue until the end of the year. The last such testing took place in 2019. Both scheduled PFT cycles for 2020 were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several changes are in store for sailors who take the PFT.
The plank exercise is replacing curl-ups, but it will not count towards individual test scores. Officials plan to use the results of the plank exercise to validate future scoring tables. Those being tested can opt for a 2,000-meter row as one of the PFT’s cardio options.
Pregnant and post-partum sailors also now will have up to one year extra time to recover from childbirth before they have to take the PFT for the record. Previously, post-partum sailors had nine months to recover. The extension applies to both the physical readiness test and body composition assessment.
“The change will allow post-partum sailors time to fully recover in a healthy manner before being required to adhere to fitness and body composition standards,” said Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., chief of naval personnel, in a statement.
Mask guidance continues to be revised, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As it stands, sailors who have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 for two weeks after receiving the shots do not have to wear masks. Those who are not vaccinated, or have not yet reached the two-week threshold, must continue to wear masks.
All sailors deemed qualified to test must take the PFT during the coming cycle. Exemptions that were granted in 2019 are no longer in effect, because of the time that has lapsed since the last testing cycle.
Sailors who score high enough on the 2021 PFT could qualify for exemption for 2022 testing. Sailors who failed the PFT in 2019 and fail again this year will not be considered as failing twice. However, those who fail in 2021 and 2022 will face administrative action.