The U.S. Navy announced Thursday it is granting sailors a “one-time reset” of past physical fitness assessment (PFA) failures in hopes of improving retention, while the Department of Defense (DOD) revealed taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for servicemembers’ abortion travel fees.
A message to Navy units announced “a one-time reset of all [PFA] failures.” for the purposes of reenlistment and promotion, among other “career continuation transitions.”
It added that the “reset is intended to level the playing field and ensure every Sailor with the drive to continue has an opportunity to meet fitness standards.”
Also on Thursday, the DOD announced the military would provide “travel and transportation allowances” for servicemembers seeking “lawfully available non-covered reproductive health care,” including abortions.
The Navy Times noted officials say the “one-time reset” is geared toward improving personnel retention and could allow as many as 1,500 sailors to avoid separation from the service, a problem being experienced in other navies around the world.
UK Tells Royal Navy Sailors: Jet Jabbed or Get Outhttps://t.co/TMl4QEy2Us
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2022
“It will reduce attrition if we do not separate sailors based on past PFA failures,” the outlet quoted Rear Adm. James Waters III, director of the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy division, as saying.
He added some PFA failures may have resulted from pandemic-era lockdown policies that denied sailors access to gym facilities.
“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 said, per the Navy Times.
Military.com noted that the “reset’ serves as a one-time reprieve for sailors who currently have one of more PFA failures on their record and does not represent a permanent policy change:
According to the Navy’s standing rules, the first PFA failure for a sailor results in them being placed in their command’s mandatory fitness program, as well as some restrictions on advancement. A second consecutive failure means a sailor’s time in the Navy is effectively over. They cannot advance, and they are ineligible for reenlistment.
This policy change doesn’t alter those rules. It simply resets the counter for sailors who have had one or more failures.
The reset also does not extend to “officer commissioning programs, selection or screening boards, and special duty screenings,” per the Navy Times.
In a June administrative message focused on retention, the Navy announced that it would cancel all early out waivers and begin accepting applications to allow sailors to delay separation or retirement.
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