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This is the third year sailors are participating in a once-per-year physical fitness assessment, which the Navy required to cut down on the risk of spreading COVID-19.

This is the third year sailors are participating in a once-per-year physical fitness assessment, which the Navy required to cut down on the risk of spreading COVID-19. (Kole Carpenter/U.S. Navy)

The Navy is giving sailors three more months to complete mandatory physical fitness tests in 2023.

The window for the formerly twice-a-year test, now just once annually, opens Navy-wide on Feb. 1 and closes Nov. 30, 2023.

“The Navy extended the time period to provide commands greater flexibility to schedule and complete the physical fitness assessment,” Lt. Sarah Niles, a spokeswoman for the personnel command, told Stars and Stripes by email Nov. 18.

This is the third year sailors are participating in the once-per-year physical fitness assessment, which the Navy required to cut down on the risk of spreading COVID-19. This year’s testing period began April 1 and concluded Sept. 30.

The Navy in a message this month summarized the guidelines for participating sailors, including command fitness leaders and post-partum sailors.

Last year was also the first cycle to score the newly introduced forearm plank that did away with curl-ups. A 2,000-meter row was also added as part of optional cardio.

Sailors with a pregnancy status expiring during the official physical fitness assessment cycle are exempt from participation, according to the message.

Command fitness leaders are not required to do anything differently versus the previous year. They have until Nov. 30 to enter physical fitness data into PRIMS-2, the official database for recording and tracking physical readiness information.

No exemptions will be given to sailors who earned an excellent or above on tests in the preceding two years. Navy commanders are encouraged to use incentive programs for the physical readiness program such as special liberty, award certificates and other motivation, the message said.

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Juan King is a reporter, photographer and web editor at Yokota Air Base, Japan. He joined the U.S. Navy in 2004 and has been assigned to Stars and Stripes since 2021. His previous assignments have taken him to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Guam and Japan.

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