U.S. Navy Rethinks Fat Rules
The U.S. Navy is changing body fat limits for sailors and taking a more “realistic” approach to health.
New rules make it harder to fail the body composition assessment part of physical fitness tests. Rather than having to pass the current height/weight test, sailors will have to pass at least one of three options: height/weight screening, single-site abdominal circumference measurement or a body circumference measurement.
USA Today reports Vice Admiral Bill Moran, chief of naval personnel, saying: "Fitness should truly be about being healthy and mission readiness — are you physically fit for times of combat and stress in the fleet? We need a system that speaks to better health, to the readiness of our sailors."
The changes mean that a failure of the current body composition standard no longer means failure of the entire physical fitness assessment. Instead, failing sailors will have to enroll in a remedial fitness program and receive counseling on diet and nutrition.
Earlier this year, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (SECNAV) unveiled a host of initiatives and policy changes aimed at improving quality of life and careers for sailors and Marines. Some of the things changing are:
1. SECNAV plans to open all operational billets to women.
2. Base day care centers to open earlier and remain open later.
3. Better co-location policies and joint service co-location policies.
4. Paid maternity leave increased from 6-12 weeks.
5. The Navy is trending toward uniforms that don't divide sailors as male and female, but unite them.