After a transition over the fall, Jan.uary 1 ushers in a new era area of body fat measurement in the Navy.

Per an August NAVADMIN message, sailors who bust the height-and-weight chart will be measured only at the waist, and will be able to go up to the Defense Department's much looser standard.

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That's 39 inches for men and 35.5 inches for women. If you're over that standard, it's back to the old rope-and-choke — waist and neck for men; waist, neck and hips for women — with a resulting body fat measurement.

New body fat limits will go beyond the previous under-40 and over-40 age standards, with four new groups.

Men ages 18 to 21 will stay at the previous 22 percent body fat max, but from 22 to 29 they're allowed up to 23 percent, 24 percent between 30 and 39, and up to 26 percent over 40.

For women, it's 33 percent from 18 to 21, 34 percent for 22 to 29, 35 percent for 30 to 39 and 36 percent over 40.

For sailors still out of standards, that will mean a PFA failure. However, you'll still be required to take your PRT test, and you'll be enrolled in the Fitness Enhancement Program until your body fat comes down.

There are also new administrative separation rules, starting with resetting everyone with multipleore than one PFA failures in the past four years back to one.

So now it will be easier to pass the body composition assessment, but it's not a freebie: Sailors who continue to stay out of shape will only be able to fail PFA twice in three years, rather than three times in four.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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