Army Navy

Navy to Forgive Past Fitness Test Failures in Move to Keep Up to 1,500 Sailors from Getting Kicked Out

Still not addressing the core problem of recruitment and retention.

The Navy says it will forgive past fitness test failures for its sailors as part of a broader effort to step up recruitment and retention efforts. The move is one of several tweaks to the service’s physical fitness rules that leaders hope will help it keep enough sailors in uniform.

In an administrative memo released Thursday, the sea service announced that it has reset the counter on physical fitness assessment (PFA) failures and any previous failures won’t count “when considering authority to reenlist, advance, promote, or execute other career continuation transitions such as extensions and duty station transfers.”

However, the rule change stresses that “this policy does not supersede the need for an effective command-level culture of fitness” and that “it remains incumbent upon individual Sailors to invest in their personal health and wellness in order to maintain warfighting readiness.”

Rear Adm. James Waters, director of the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy division, told reporters in a call held ahead of the publishing of the memo that the reprieve is largely a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waters explained that there was “a recognition that we don’t want to punish sailors because gyms were closed during the pandemic. We don’t want to disadvantage sailors.

He went on to add that the reset “could allow up to 1,500 sailors to remain in the service who might otherwise be separated.” . . . (read more on

More Changes Brewing for Embattled Army Fitness Test (, 15 FEB 23)

Changes are coming to the Army Combat Fitness Test, as the service looks to comply with a law mandating it create a gender-neutral assessment by June, a continuation of the struggle over the test that was finally rolled out in October following years of delays.

Sgt. Major Michael Grinston, during an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army on Tuesday, said the service is weighing whether to use a gender-neutral version of the ACFT with a higher standard for combat arms soldiers, or repurpose physical tests currently required for expert badges.

“Here’s what it is and draw a line — or do we do a separate test?” he said.

The changes are still being formulated, with some of the uncertainty driven by two competing congressional requirements built into last year’s annual defense policy bill to “establish gender-neutral fitness standards for combat [jobs] that are higher than those for non-combat [jobs],” while also creating gender-neutral standards for all soldiers.

Grinston also said Tuesday that the service is moving forward with a change to its body fat standards that would create waivers for soldiers who score highly on the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT.

The ACFT was originally intended to be gender-neutral, but the Army reversed course after early test data, first reported by in 2021, showed that nearly half of all female soldiers were failing the test.

That helped ratchet up debate during the last Congress over whether the new test was right for the service.

. . . . Democrats called for a postponement of the test due to “unrealistic standards” for “medical personnel, judge advocates, or cyber warriors,” also citing high failure rates for women. Meanwhile Republican lawmakers leveled heated criticism at gender-based testing benchmarks. The debate led to the inclusion in last year’s defense policy bill of the provision requiring a new “gender-neutral physical readiness standards” by June. . . . (read more)

The U.S. Navy lowers its standards yet again (American Thinker, 19 FEB 23)

. . . .I soon saw that all three lines were staffed by obvious affirmative action hires who, regardless of their actual abilities, knew that they couldn’t lose their jobs. Knowing that fact, they were expending the bare minimum of energy without regard to speed or efficiency. Put another way, if you’re not committed to the job and you can get away with less, why do more?

One smart, fast person could have done all their work and done so much better, and all at a significant saving for San Francisco taxpayers. I mark that moment as one of the many little light bulbs that went off over my head, steering me inexorably toward conservativism.

The lesson for me was that affirmative action gods demand expensive sacrifices, and the people suffer. In the same way, our increasingly woke military is regularly signaling that America must be prepared to suffer in service to the woke gods. It will put increasing emphasis on people who would never have been considered fit to serve, whether physically or psychologically, aided by the fact that too many Americans, wedded to TikTok and junk food, become ever more incapable of physical activity.

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