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What is a Navy Physical Fitness Test?

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  • Written By: S. Closser
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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The Navy physical fitness test (PFT) is a fitness test given by the Navy twice during every fiscal year. It combines a physical readiness test and body composition assessment. The test measures the endurance, flexibility, and aerobic capacity of navy personnel. Active duty personnel and reservists are required to pass both parts of the Navy physical fitness test to be in compliance with Navy requirements.

There are several parts to the performance assessment, including push ups, curl ups, sit-reaches, and a 1.5-mile (2.41 km) run. Sailors have two minutes to complete as many curl ups, or sit ups, as possible. They also have two minutes to complete as many push-ups as possible. The sit-reach is a test of flexibility in which the sailor sits flat on the ground and touches his toes.

Sailors must complete the run as quickly as possible, but any combination of running and walking is permitted, as long as the distance is completed within specified amount of time. Alternately, sailors may be able to swim a set distance or use an elliptical machine in place of the run. This is a standard physical test used across other branches of the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies.

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The required performance measures depend on the sailor's age and sex. Scores fall into five performance categories: outstanding, excellent, good, satisfactory, and probationary. There are three subcategories within those ratings: high, medium, and low. To graduate boot camp, each sailor must achieve a "Good (low)" rating or above on the Navy physical fitness test. After boot camp, sailors must complete the physical test with a "Satisfactory (medium)" rating or above.

The Navy physical fitness test score is determined by averaging the point values of each test result. If they do not pass the minimum standard for the fitness test, sailors are ineligible for promotion, advancement, or frocking. They may regain eligibility by passing a monthly mock physical fitness assessment as certified by the command fitness leader. If a sailor fails three physical fitness assessments in a four-year period, he or she is not allowed to take advancement exams until passing two consecutive PFTs prior to the next exam schedule.

Navy members are required to be within the body composition standards at all times. These are based on the maximum weight for height screening and body fat estimation, which is based on circumference measurements. The requirements are based on age and sex. Sailors who are deemed overweight are required to enter a weight loss program. They may also be ineligible for promotion, training schools, and volunteer assignments, and are not eligible for reenlistment.

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