Navy Close to Creating New Body Composition Standards


The Navy is nearing completion on new Body Composition Assessment standards identifying height, weight and physical fitness requirements for sailors, senior service leaders said Jan. 14 at the Surface Navy Association symposium, Arlington, Virginia. 

"We are doing a serious look at this. We are days away from briefing [Juan Garcia, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs]. The secretary of the Navy has asked us to brief him in early February," said Vice Adm. Bill Moran, Chief of Navy Personnel. 

All sailors need to pass a semi-annual physical fitness assessment. Some of the physical readiness tests for sailors include curl-ups, push-ups and a 1.5-mile run. In additions, sailors will be required to meet certain weight requirements for specific heights. 

Physical standards for BCA are being revisited because they are decades old and the demographics of the force have substantially changed in recent decades, Moran told 

"We all know lifting is in. It wasn't when I came in. We have more women in the Navy -- ar more than we had 30-years ago. BCA standards for height and weight might be different than they were 30-years ago," he explained.  "BCA data was based on decades old data. We have body types and styles changing over time."

Moran said the Navy is now conducting an anthropomorphic study to assess how uniforms fit onto sailors' bodies. 

"It is a huge detailed data assessment measuring young men and women around the fleet to see what has changed," Moran explained. "We want to find the right balance."

Navy standards are fairly stringent when compared with other services, aside from the Marine Corps, Moran added. Meeting the standards will not always be easy for sailors. 

"In many jobs in the Navy, especially small ships that are at sea a lot, the opportunity to PT to stay in shape or get in shape is challenging," he said.

-- Kris Osborn can be reached at