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Thread: Improving the PFA

  1. #1
    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Miami, Florida
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    Improving the PFA

    In response to the Navy Times editorial of October 27 "Improving the PFA", I don’t think creating an enlisted NEC will do more to establish a culture of fitness, or ensuring command-level physical fitness programs are properly managed. It will not enhance fairness and professionalism. Taking PT standards seriously is a leadership issue that needs to be addressed with the wardroom, CPO and First Class Messes. Adding more bureaucracy to this program will not help, because the answer is that officers and chief petty officers must work together to fix it.The same goes with the Navy's alcohol breath test program. Creating more administrative bureaucracy only adds to the problem and sends the message that officers and senior enlisted can not work together to solve problems.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Annapolis, MD
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    I think an enlisted NEC is a bit much. Being the CFL is a collateral duty and running a PT program is not rocket science.

    Navy culture doesn't look at physical fitness the way the Army or Marines do (or the Air Force in recent years.) Some would say it isn't needed, some would say it is. In my opinion, we don't need every Sailor to be a SeAL or PT stud, but being in decent shape/having healthy people:

    1. Makes more efficient watch-standers. People are able to physically/mentally handle the rotating shifts over long periods of time better.
    2. Less 'little' injuries. Regular PT isn't hard, but I am amazed at the amount of 'little' injuries I see (shin splints, strained backs etc.) PT in the Marine Corps was much more vigorous and we didn't have near the percentage of people on some sort of light duty.
    3. In the long run, saves money on medical issues.

    The Navy as a whole has created a bureaucratic nightmare with PT: PARFQ's, 10-week notifications, multiple options for cardio, some commands allowing grace periods for new check in's. I miss the simplicity of the Marines being told a day or two ahead of time to be at the pull-up bars at 0600 to run my PFT.

    Some things that could be done to fix some of the issues:
    1. Show that the PRT matters.
    a. Make the PRT score part of the promotion multiple.
    b. Put the actual PRT score on Evals & FITREPs, not just pass or fail.
    2. Expect units to include PT as part of the work day, but this may mean stretching the work day 9which is okay). Every Navy command I have been at had a PT instruction that said Sailors would PT three times a week for at least an hour per period.
    3. Let/expect small unit leaders (DIVO’s & LCPOs) to run their divisional PT program. I have been at commands that organized PT was done 3 times a week, but only at the command level. Small unit leaders will know where their people need to improve and can help them on a micro level vice the command level which is a macro level. For some reason a Cpl in the USMC or Army can/is expected to PT a platoon (same as a division) but in the Navy we have Command Fitness Leaders who need to attend a formal school to be certified to lead PT and run the program.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.

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