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IPFS News Link • Military

Navy to scrub fitness test fails from sailors' records

•, By Micaela Burrow

The U.S. Navy will scrub past fitness test failures from sailors' records, a move that could prevent 1,500 servicemembers from leaving the service and meet retention needs this year, according to new guidance published Thursday.

The new administrative policy directs commanders to stop discharge processes for servicemembers who failed the mandatory physical fitness exam and nullifies pre-2023 failures as a consideration for reenlistment or promotions. Rear Adm. James Waters III, director of military personnel, plans and policy, said the policy will help improve the Navy's chances of meeting its retention goals for fiscal year 2023, according to Navy Times.

"It will reduce attrition if we do not separate sailors based on past [physical fitness exam] failures," Waters said Wednesday, Navy Times reported. "But it came about through all of the analysis for this campaign plan, through a recognition that we don't want to punish sailors because gyms were closed during the pandemic," he added.

Challenges in "preparing for and executing" physical fitness exams through the COVID-19 pandemic may have placedsome servicemembers at a disadvantage, the notice said, as a justification for the change.

"This reset is intended to level the playing field and ensure every Sailor with the drive to continue has an opportunity to meet fitness standards and serve in our Navy to the maximum extent desired," the administrative notice said.