When the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) had its deadly collision in June 2017, I mourned the loss of our shipmates and yet was incredibly inspired by the heroism of the crew who saved lives and the ship. The physical ability to save lives, contribute to fighting catastrophic damage, and help the wounded is an attribute every single sailor in the fleet should have; but does the Navy’s current fitness assessment confirm a sailor can perform in such a situation?
The answer is no. The current Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)/Physical Readiness Test (PRT) does not prove a sailor can perform in an emergency or warfighting situation because of what the current assessment tests. OPNAV 6110.1J Section 5, Article b., states: “The PRT is a series of physical events that assess cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and endurance.”