You can stop brushing up on your pullups now. They won't be on the new fitness test — because there won't be a fitness test.
Coast Guard leadership has decided to against adopting what throw out the its plan for what would have been the service's first force-wide fitness test, the commandant confirmed March 11.
After more than two years of development and testing, officials concluded that a standardized test would be untenable for many of the service's smaller and more remote commands, Adm. Paul Zukunft told Navy Times.
"A number of our units don't have the wherewithal to even implement these measures," he said, making it unfair to require the test without the facilities to hold them. for employment despite a lack of facilities or infrastructure to carry it out.
He used the example of 87-foot patrol boats, which he noted are colloquially known as "vomit comets."
"I don't know how many laps you'd have to run," Zukunft said., noting their colloquially known as 'vomit comets.' "They're not very friendly riding to begin with. But if you're deployed for a period of days on those or smaller patrol boats, yeah, we just don't have the wherewithal to accommodate fitness while underway."
The test, piloted at some training commands, included a 300-yard shuttle run, pullups and a jump event. The decision not to implement it was originally announced via servicewide message on March 3.
Zukunft said the service will continue with its mandatory Personal Fitness Plan, which requires members to sign off on 180 minutes of exercise per week, minimum.
Many of the Coast Guard's units already have their own specific PT tests, which will continue.
"So it really needs to be personalized," he said. "What I want people to do is embrace a wellness lifestyle, n" he said, "Not one that is forced upon them, which may have the complete opposite effect."
There are also no changes to the service's twice yearly height and weight assessments.
The now-abandoned fitness test came out of an idea from former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Mike Leavitt. The service began studying the possibility in 2012, then fielded a pilot in 2013 at the Chief Petty Officer Academy in Petaluma, California.
"We need to perform at the top of our game," Leavitt told Navy Times in 2012. "It's a matter of life and death, and a matter of inches in some cases."
Before his retirement in May 2014, former Commandant Adm. Bob Papp said that while he supported the idea of further promoting fitness, he didn't want the appearance of adopting a standard military-style test just to have one.
"I'm not sure the PT tests that some of the other services do are the optimal way to do it," he said. "That's why it's taken us so long ... is because the ultimate goal is a healthy lifestyle, and people looking good in uniform and extending their lives."
However, mMany units in the Coast Guard have been doing their own fitness tests for years. Rescue swimmers, law enforcement units, and other deployable forces have their own fitness tests as a condition of employment, Zukunft said.
"But do I need that for every individual within the Coast Guard? No. Do I want and expect them to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Yes. Am I going to lead by that example? Absolutely," he added.
Zukunft works out nearly every days, he said, including cycling about 7,500 miles last year.
"At my all-hands [calls], I typically challenge everybody to say [if they]do you work out on a daily basis?" he said. "And those that say, 'I just don't have the time,' I say, 'I'm the commandant of the Coast Guard, and I work out six days a week.' "
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.