Navy prepares for unique fitness assessment cycle and graded boards in 2022

The Navy has announced that it will complete a fitness assessment cycle in 2022 – a departure from the traditional two cycles conducted each year – and will begin scoring forearm planks.

The Navy attributed the single cycle to the COVID-19 pandemic and delays in the deployment of the Physical Readiness Information Management System 2, which commanders will use to record physical readiness test results.

“Recognizing the foreseeable conditions to include the continuation of the pandemic, the deployment of PRIMS-2 and the validation of the modalities, there will be a single PFA cycle for calendar year 2022,” said a new naval administrative message. “All medically cleared sailors must participate in the CY2022 Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) cycle.”

the 2022 ATP cycle will run from April 1 to September 30.

A key change sailors can expect for the 2022 PFA cycle is that board scores will count for the first time. Although the boards were included in the 2021 ATP cycleit was for recording purposes only and they did not count towards the overall score, the Navy said.

This means that in 2022 sailors will receive scores for forearm planks, push-ups and cardio events – including a 2,000 meter row which was introduced in 2021 as an option for sailors.

The Navy previously unveiled its standards for forearm plank and rowing events in November 2020.

Sailors between the ages of 17 and 19 will receive an exceptional score if they reach a maximum of 3:40 minutes for the plank event, according to the guidelines. Exceptional scoring times are reduced by five seconds for each subsequent age bracket. These standards for all age groups are the same for men and women.

Sailors are allowed to quiver from a muscle spasm while completing the forearm plank – as long as they maintain proper form. The timed event will stop if the sailor lowers the head towards the hands, fails to maintain a 90 degree angle at the elbows, or receives more than two form corrections, among other things.

Although the Navy typically conducts the PFA every two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Navy to forgo tradition when it comes to physical fitness testing. For example, the deferred service and eventually canceled conducting assessments in 2020, starting in March. Testing resumed in July 2021 in a single PFA round for the year.

A side effect of the unique PFA cycle is that the service is unable to grant exemptions to sailors who have achieved excellent or better overall performance in 2021. The Navy has said these exemptions can only resume when the service performs a semi-annual PFA cycle.

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