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Navy Relaxes PRT Rules For Its Thinnest, Fittest Sailors
Sailors are getting new incentives to stay in shape. The Navy announced June 20 that those sailors who perform in the top tier of the service’s bi-annual physical readiness test will be exempt from taking their next PRT.
But there’s a catch. According to a Navy press release, sailors can skip an upcoming PRT if they:
- score an overall “excellent low” or better on the test,
- with no single event below a “good low,” and
- pass the body composition assessment and are within body fat standards.
Sailors typically have to take the PRT twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
All sailors, regardless of their PRT performance, will have to participate in the body composition assessment, or BCA, each cycle. If a sailor performs well enough on the PRT to get an exemption but fails the BCA, then they also lose their exemption from the next PRT.
The message is: Don’t get fat.
The new requirements go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, but will be based on a sailor’s performance during the second PRT cycle in 2017. The changes were based on concerns and feedback from sailors across the service, according to the release.
"I want sailors to know we've heard them," Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said in the release. "Many sailors work hard to maintain high levels of physical fitness year-round and I believe this provides an incentive to continue to excel. This effort is aimed at both incentivizing physical fitness and also reducing administrative distractions throughout the fleet."
Sailors conduct their bi-annual Physical Readiness Test (PRT) on stationary bikes in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bill M. Sanders
On top of those changes, the Navy announced that it will grant a six-month break from PRTs and BCAs for sailors returning from maternity or convalescent leave.
The service is also ditching the use of elliptical machines for the PRT’s cardio test portion, largely because nobody was using them. Fewer than 4% of sailors used an elliptical, and maintaining PRT-compliant elliptical machines was simply costing too much, according to the Navy’s release. I mean, the ground is free, guys.
The 1.5 mile run still remains the gold standard, but commanders are permitted to authorize the use of approved stationary bikes, treadmills, or allow sailors to swim instead.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.