Navy announces single physical fitness assessment cycle in 2023

Seaman Trinity Benjamin

For the third consecutive year, sailors will participate in one physical fitness assessment cycle in 2023.

Historically, two cycles are conducted each calendar year, but that changed in March 2020 when the Navy called off all physical fitness assessments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tests didn’t resume until July 2021 as part of a single PFA cycle.

The PFA for next year will run from Feb. 1 to Nov. 30.

Due to the single cycle, the Navy is not granting any exemptions to sailors who’ve previously earned overall performance levels of excellent or above. That was the case last year, as well.

Navy gears up for single physical fitness assessment cycle, and scored planks, in 2022

“There will be no excellent or above incentive exemption for CY23,” a naval administrative message said. “… Commanders, commanding officers, and officers-in-charge are encouraged to use incentive programs for the physical readiness program (special liberty, award certificates, etc.).”

Postpartum sailors must wait 12 months to take the PFA after giving birth, and could remain exempt from the fitness test until 2024.

“Sailors with pregnancy (postpartum) status which expires during the official PFA cycle are exempt from participation in the PFA cycle,” the NAVADMIN said.

Next year marks the third year the Navy has included planks in its fitness assessments, although the plank scores did not count until the 2022 PFA. The plank scores were only used for recording purposes and were not factored into the overall score this year, the Navy said.