The Navy is giving another chance to thousands of sailors who otherwise would be kicked out for repeatedly failing their physical fitness tests because they exceeded body fat limits.
The service branch loosened its body fat restrictions in January and is allowing those who failed their exams three or more times to get one more opportunity to be tested this spring under the more lenient guidelines. The Navy said it has been losing too many talented sailors. Some were resorting to liposuction, diet pills and other measures to save their careers.
The Navy allowed about 2,400 sailors who passed a preliminary test under the new rules to stay in, reducing the number of failures on their records from three to one, said Navy spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. In the past, three failures were grounds for being kicked out. The sailors will be measured again this spring and allowed only two failures now instead of three.
The changes are the latest by the military looking to improve its abilities to recruit and retain talented people as it builds up its cyber-warfare strategy and faces competition from a rebounding economy.