Follow the latest on RallyPoint. Get insights from the top online professional network for service members and veterans.

Most recent discussions

Pretty big changes to the Navy BCA, small changes to the PRT (readding the old scoring style "levels" to the scores, Good-Low, Excellent-High, ECT.)

What do you think?


Mark D. Faram and Meghann Myers, Staff writers

The good news for sailors with PFA problems: You're getting a do-over, and a new set of easier body fat standards.

The bad news is the service is dropping the number of failures it takes to get booted.

The Navy is shaking up the body composition assessment, increasing body fat limits for sailors, moving away from career-ending punishments for BCA failures and taking a deeper look at how it measures health in general.

The shifts are a new direction in the fitness program that's designed to move away from a punitive system to one that encourages year-round fitness, with a focus on helping those struggling to stay fit.

"We like to speak of a culture of fitness, but we really haven’t implemented a culture of fitness across the Navy," said Vice Adm. Bill Moran, chief of naval personnel, in a July 28 interview. "Fitness should truly be about being healthy and mission readiness — Are you physically fit for times of combat and stress in the fleet? We need a system that speaks to better health, to the readiness of our sailors. And part of that is, are we doing things to encourage a culture of fitness?"

The new rules make it harder to fail the body composition assessment portion of the physical fitness assessment. But that comes at the cost of only getting two failures in three years before getting kicked out.

Moran said he's heard the sailors' cries for reform and said these changes aren't the end, but the beginning of a "more realistic" fitness program that's more than two tests per year.

Frankly, he'd like a system that could end the twice-yearly testing cycles, and instead actively gauge fitness and health on a year-round basis, he said.

PFA fail reset

It started with the Navy realizing that there's no "one size fits all" in fitness and certainly not in body composition.

Moran said he sees the extremes at nearly every all-hands call — fit sailors looking for better recognition and those who say they're in good shape but can't pass the BCA.

"What we've tried to do in this policy change — with the tenets of better health and being mission ready as the focus — is to also make sure we’re not throwing out good sailors because we can’t meet both ends of that spectrum," Moran said.

Moran said that the Navy's fitness program is entering what he calls a "transition" phase during the rest of the year.

Starting during this fall's cycle, a BCA failure with the current body fat standards no longer equals a PFA failure. Sailors who bust the body fat test will be allowed to take the Physical Readiness Test, but they'll have to enroll in the remedial Fitness Enhancement Program work-outs and nutritional counseling.

That's great news for the many sailors who say they have no problem with the run, sit-ups and push-ups, but consistently fail height and weight standards.

But it gets better.

Sailors on the edge of a forced separation for PFA failures will get a second chance to stay in.

Those with an approved or pending administrative separation as of July 1, for three PFA failures in the past four years, can notify their commanding officers that they'd like to stay in the Navy, then pass a PRT before December 1.

Regardless of the number of failures in the past three years, sailors meeting standard by the deadline will be reset to one failure starting next year, when new BCA standards take effect. Those who fail the PFA for a third time this fall, if it's their third failure in four years, will still be separated.

Moran made it clear that appealing the admin separation is voluntary.

"We’re going to give them a chance to continue with the discharge if they don’t want to continue in the Navy or reset during this fall period," Moran said.

"Between now and December, if they get down within the new standards and can pass under the new guidance, we reset their failure to one — then if they fail again, they’re on the way out."

The move will potentially save thousands of sailors' careers. More than 6,700 active-duty and reserve sailors have three PFA failures in the past four years, according to official data, and an additional 20,000 have failed twice in four years.

The new BCA

The next step is raising the threshold for a BCA failure.

Beginning January 1, 2016, 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.

"It’s a little more stringent than the DoD standard, but a bit more graduated by age than the current BCA standard," Moran said. "It takes into account the physical changes that happen as we all age, too — so in that way, it's a little more realistic set of standards."

Moran said the DoD limits are there for a reason and can not be lifted.

"DoD has established a maximum limit for body fat percentage based on the American Medical Association and other institutions who say, if you exceed that limit, you have reached an obesity level that raises your likelihood for things like cancer or diabetes and other medical issues," Moran said.

"For me, that’s the right side limit of where we will allow sailors to be — if you exceed that DoD limit, you are, by definition, obese, at-risk and that's a failure."

Starting in January, sailors who don't meet the standard height and weight measurements, will first get a waist-only tape test, which maxes out at 39 inches for men and 35.5 inches for women. Pass that and you're good. It's the current test used by the Air Force as their BCA measurement.

But the Navy is adding yet one more chance for sailors to pass.

The final chance will be the existing and very unpopular "rope and choke" tape test that measures them at the neck and waist (plus hips for women), then calculates the measurements to a body fat percentage. For those over the Defense Department's maximum of 26 percent for men and 36 percent for women, it's a PFA failure.

And a failure will land an over-standard sailor for their age group in the Fitness Enhancement Program. But initially, they won't fail PFA altogether.

And even that, Moran said won't be punitive, but instead it'll be "educational."

"We’re going to give you the tools, nutrition guidance, exercise guidance and we're going to have you take the PRT every 30 days until you can pass and until you get down below the new Navy BCA standard," Moran said.

The Navy also plans to develop a Navy-wide registered dietitian plan, giving sailors more access to professional counseling where food choices are concerned.

That's part of a push that includes beefing up the ShipShape healthy eating program and SECNAV's new "Go for Green" initiative, which uses color-codes to advise sailors on the healthiest choices at the galley and also eliminate fried foods.

Unlike the current policy, sailors who fail the BCA will now take the PRT if they're medically cleared.

"We had several thousand of sailors who failed the BCA last year," Moran said. "None of these sailors took the [PRT] last year, so we don’t have any idea if whether they’re fit at all or capable of carrying on a mission — we just fail them."

Previously, sailors with three PFA failures over four years were forced out. Now, with the looser BCA standards, two PFA failures in three years will end in a discharge.

To keep sailors on a fitness path in between PFAs, Moran is encouraging commands to randomly stop sailors for body fat spot-checks throughout the year. They could serve as a warning to borderline sailors or result in FEP enrollment ahead of the next cycle.

Officials hope the move will cut back on the number of sailors discharged every year for PFA failures, which has totaled thousands in the past four years.

Nearly 1,300 sailors have been discharged because of failures in the 2014 cycles, though those numbers aren't final. That was up from 1,200 in 2013 and over 1,100 in 2012, when the numbers jumped significantly from about 700 in 2011.

Right now, the only changes to the Physical Readiness Test will be a return to the old scoring levels eliminated a few years ago. That graduated scoring put intermediate levels of low, medium and high under each of the major categories of satisfactory, excellent and outstanding, something the fleet pushed hard for, Moran said.

"We are going to bring back levels of excellence because it's a way of measuring progress and for COs to recognize sailors for their fitness level or improvements in their evaluations if they choose to," Moran said.

Long time coming

The Navy's PFA has been the bane of many a sailor's existence for years. In a May speech at the Naval Academy, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus likened it to a twice-a-year crucible, where sailors go to extreme measures to get within standards.

The discussion came to a head last summer, when a list of PFA proposals drafted at a Command Fitness Leaders summit circulated through the ranks and caught fire.

The suggestions included doing away with "bad-day" retests for the PRT, mandatory tape tests and random BCAs throughout the year. Officials acknowledged the list but denied that any of those proposals were hitting the fleet.

Navy Times readers then responded to a call-out with their suggestions for improving the PFA. Chief among them were rethinking or canning the BCA, making CFLs better at taking measurements, more flexible gym hours and incentives for those who consistently score an outstanding on their tests, ideas the Navy took to heart.

Late last year, the Navy Personnel Command instituted a CFL Navy Enlisted Classification, to help commands keep better track of their CFL's qualifications and to help in the search for new fitness coordinators.

Then, in May, Mabus announced there would be changes this year that included the new waist-only tape test, BCA spot-checks, expanded gym hours and a new Outstanding Fitness Award, an idea that had been batted around since 2005.

Rewards for maxing out your PFA are two-fold. Those who score an outstanding on one PFA cycle are authorized to wear a badge on their fitness suit, when it comes out next year.

Sailors who max out three PFAs in a row will earn a uniform award, though it hasn't been determined whether it will be a ribbon or a medal. Sailors can expect to see more information in the fall, CNP spokesman Cmdr. Chris Servello said.

Looking ahead

The latest policy change includes long-term goals aimed at promoting and measuring sailors' fitness.

Moran said that the Navy's goal is to find a way to measure fitness year-round that could eliminate the twice-a-year testing regimen. But don't expect that to happen soon.

"These changes are the first step toward making this a year-long process, as opposed to a semi-annual test to get through," he said. "We still have to have the test for a while until we find a better way to to measure mission readiness, to gauge if you are physically fit enough that you can carry out missions at sea."

As Mabus said in May, different jobs have different fitness requirements — but the bottom line is the Navy needs a way to measure health.

Moran said that early next year, the Navy will begin a pilot program in yet-to-be-named Pacific Fleet and Navy Reserve units using wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit .

It's part of what Moran called a search to find if "there’s ways to measure better health — heart rate blood pressure, cholesterol levels — all things that promote better fitness and result in better performance on the PRT," he said.

"We have to measure it, track it for a full year, but the notion is rather than two annual tests, it’s a focus on, are you making improvements and are you meeting standards for weight control, blood pressure cholesterol? Instead of a discussion of, are you inside your height-weight levels and can you pass the PRT? — which is where we are today."
12 people commented on this discussion.
Referral epr expires end of Sept overseas list comes out Aug5th.
Posted in these groups: Images PCS
2 people commented on this discussion.
Posted in these groups: Ega Marine CorpsHqdefault Boot CampGender_differences_male_female Gender
You're a Trailblazer. Be the first to respond to this discussion.
With the recent amount of stolen valor it is hard to keep up with all the different threads being posted here on RallyPoint. From this point forward if you have a stolen valor question, comment, and or post, then add it here. The posts that currently exist will stay, as we don't want to lose the already existing discussion content. If you have started a stolen valor post prior to this and wish to have it merged to this one then feel free to let me know and I will merge that for you. The initial post will be gone but the discussion content will be merged to this posting.
Posted in these groups: 524395_331088503647420_191451722_n Stolen Valor
511 people commented on this discussion.
With the current force downsizing I see even less a use for contractors in positions Soldiers can and should fill. Cooks, MPs, Commo positions... They all need to be purged and filled with uniformed, MOS holding, service members. This would reduce cost, bull up the force and get rid of some dead weight. I bet everyone here can think of a few DA civilians that should never have had a job in the first place. No better time to cut sling load.
Let's hear your thoughts.
14 people commented on this discussion.
Too many times throughout the course of my career have I seen leaders adopt the "What have you done for me lately?" mentality and disregard the attribute for empathy to a team member. I have seen Soldiers/NCOs/Officers alike who have given their all in order to provide strength and benefits to an organization in order to improve its overall posture and efficiency. However, as soon as they get injured, or need to have required surgery and the like, are all of a sudden held to regards of a sh***bag. What was once a pedestal, is now the bottom of the barrel; after months, even years of commitment. My question is, why is that? When knowingly if that same leader who is passing judgment, was in the same circumstance, they would do what it is needed to take care of themselves and their family (if applicable). So why cannot Joe do the same?? Personally, I do not have the moral compass within me to be so critical without attempting to gain understanding in regards to what led to the current posture, yet I can decipher pretty well between authentic and malingering; and lastly, I am far from a doctor. So, my forum question is why do some (not all) leaders minimize regards for their team members safety and health when they are truly overworked and injured and take the necessary steps to get better while lacking empathy? Weigh in.
Posted in these groups: Team MemberGetakwwcoach Mentorship
7 people commented on this discussion.
Congress is on track to shore up federal highway aid and veterans' health care before heading out of town this week for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of sticky issues that are sure to complicate an autumn agenda already groaning under the weight of indecision.

In one of their last decisions before adjourning for a month, House members are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would extend spending authority for transportation programs through Oct. 29, and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion. That's enough money to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states through mid-December.

The Senate plans to take up the House bill before a midnight Friday deadline, when authority for the Transportation Department to process aid payments to states will expire.

Lawmakers said they were loath to take up yet another short-term transportation funding extension — this will be the 34th extension since 2009. But Republicans and Democrats don't want to see transportation aid cut off, and they are eager to pass an amendment attached to the extension bill that fills a $3.4 billion hole in the Department of Veterans Affairs' budget. The money gap threatens to force the closure of hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The three-month patch puts off House action on a long-term transportation bill, adding one more messy fight to a fall agenda already crammed with difficult, must-pass legislation.

Twelve annual spending bills face a Sept. 30 deadline but are being held up by a clash over the Confederate flag. Congress must also decide whether to approve or disapprove President Barack Obama's Iran deal, and whether to pass a contentious defense policy bill that faces a veto threat from the White House. Another fight is certain over raising the nation's borrowing authority.

Spending authority for the Federal Aviation Administration expires Sept. 30. Since long-term bills to set aviation policy have yet to be introduced in either the House or the Senate, lawmakers acknowledge they will have to pass a short-term extension there as well.

"I think it will be an extremely active fall with the potential for either terrific accomplishment or a train wreck," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of House Republican leadership.

A $350 billion, long-term Senate transportation bill cleared a procedural hurdle Wednesday by a vote of 65 to 35. Senate passage is likely Thursday. The bill would make changes to highway, transit, railroad and auto safety programs, but only provides enough funds for the first three years of the six years covered by the bill. The bill also renews the Export-Import Bank, which makes low-interest loans to help U.S. companies sell their products overseas. The bank's charter expired June 30 in the face of opposition from conservatives, who call it corporate welfare.

Senate GOP leaders had hoped the House would pass the long-term bill and send it to the White House before the recess. But their Republican counterparts in the House have made it clear they won't be hurried into accepting the Senate measure.

It has been a decade since Congress last passed a long-term transportation bill, even though lawmakers in both parties generally support highway and transit aid. The difficulty has been finding the money to pay for programs in a way that doesn't increase the federal deficit.

Complicating passage of a long-term transportation bill is that President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders want to change corporate tax laws that encourage U.S. companies to park foreign profits overseas and use the resulting revenue to fully pay for highway and transit aid. But there is no consensus on the details of the corporate tax changes, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has repeatedly tried to dampen support for that approach.

House Republicans say they will use the next three months to develop a tax plan that generates enough money to pay for a long-term highway bill. Two key House members — Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and Richard Neal, D-Mass. — unveiled part of the plan Wednesday. It would create a special 10 percent tax bracket that would be applied to a portion of the income companies get from patents, formulas, inventions and other intellectual property. The current corporate income tax rate is 35 percent.

Technology firms and pharmaceutical companies would be among the beneficiaries. The goal is to slow the flow of U.S. companies that have been relocating their headquarters to foreign countries to reduce their tax bills.
Posted in these groups: US CongressImages_(3) Government
9 people commented on this discussion.
I failed my weapons qualification for my pcs assignment. I'm trying to put in for my BOP and it says I'm in assignment availability code 09.
Posted in these groups: The_pentagon_us_department_of_defense_building Assignments
You're a Trailblazer. Be the first to respond to this discussion.
When connecting with someone on RallyPoint, is it really necessary to have an “I can offer support or mentorship” option?

There’s something to be learned from all levels! When my niece was five years old, she opened my eyes to something that I had never considered, simply because she didn’t yet overcomplicate the way that she perceived things. I will never claim to know more than the next person, and hope that I am wise enough to learn something from everyone.

I will always select “I am seeking advice and support,” as I hope to gain something from everyone.
Posted in these groups: Flat_color RallyPointCa2 Career Advice
10 people commented on this discussion.
What's happening in this picture? I still can't look without dying laughing at their faces!
Posted in these groups: 1024px-smiley.svg HumorUsmc2lt 2ndLtWeapons_logo Weapons31m8esm34pl Safety
36 people commented on this discussion.
Posted in these groups: Election-2016-button Election 2016
34 people commented on this discussion.
We have all heard expressions that were new to us but very common to others. One of the first I heard was the term 'Short' and 'xx amounts of days and a wakeup'. One instructor alluded to 'hammers' when referring to members of the opposite sex and of course, 'The GI Party'.

What are your recollections of these timeless cliches?

LTC Stephen F. COL Charles Williams COL Mikel Burroughs SSG Matt Murphy SSG (Join to see) PO2 Ed C. PO2 Jonathan Scharff SPC Charles Brown SGM Matthew Quick Lt Col Timothy Parker SMSgt Minister Gerald A. Thomas SFC (Join to see) Capt (Join to see) CPT (Join to see) (Congrats Leo) GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
Posted in these groups: 1024px-smiley.svg HumorEnlisted_logo EnlistedOfficers_logo Officers
24 people commented on this discussion.
From: News 10 ABC

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A simple trip to the store ended with a veteran getting a hateful letter left on his car.

When a local Iraq War veteran went shopping Thursday morning, he did not expect to find an anonymous note with ugly language left on his car.

The letter blasted the Marine for having a Purple Heart and serving overseas. It stated, “All of you Islamaphobe vets deserve to die.”

The note has people shaking their heads. Some call the author pathetic.

“It’s just shocking,” Ann Lanoir said. “It’s just ignorant. That’s the way I feel. I feel like some punk wrote it.”

“Makes me sick to my stomach,” Navy veteran Robert LaPrairie said. “To me, it’s an act of terrorism really.”

“I just think it’s awful,” John Mohring said. “It’s very terrible. Veterans are our heroes.”

NEWS10 ABC showed the note to Lt. Steven Stockdale from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office to determine if the person who wrote it could face charges.

“That’s the first thing I look for Rachel [Yonkunas],” he said. “When we see something like that – is there any potential criminality?”

Stockdale said it is illegal to leave a note on a windshield, but he said the biggest disappointment is that the author thought writing the letter was okay.

“Communication these days has gotten very easy for people who want to stay anonymous,” he said. “And it takes a lot more courage to strap on an 80 pound pack and go to the Middle East and fight for your country than it does to scribble on a note and leave it cowardly behind on somebody’s windshield.”
Posted in these groups: Vet VeteransThreat
11 people commented on this discussion.
Satanists Devil Statue revealed in Detroit

The idea that our founding fathers had this kind of religious expression in mind when they declared freedom of religion is simply foolishness. There is little evidence that they had anything besides the Christian faith in mind, but there is no doubt that Satanist were never intended. But, here we are.

Christian News reports

At least 100 people attended the unveiling of a Satanic statue depicting Baphomet being flanked by children on Saturday—a statue that was originally intended to be placed at the Oklahoma state capitol and now may be the subject of an effort to erect it next to a Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas.

The statue is an attempt to pressure politicians that would be sympathetic to Christian monuments. It is a way of making it too costly for the politician to allow the display of Christian monuments on public grounds. Much like a child, they argue for equal standing and representation. If they get their Christian monument, then we want our satanic monument.

the Satanic Temple had raised funds in 2013 to have the statue created in its effort to make a statement about the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol, and sought to have the Baphomet monument placed next to the Ten Commandments display.

It issued a news release about its intentions following the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which asserted that the presence of the Ten Commandments display on government property violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The Satanic Temple said that it offered to donate a statue of Baphomet to be placed near the Ten Commandments display in order to “appease the ACLU’s concerns.”

But once the Oklahoma case was lost, the Satanist group looked for another home for the statue.

Although the Oklahoma decision consequently resulted in the group nixing its plans to place the monument next to the Ten Commandments display, the Satanic Temple now says that it will seek to erect the monument adjacent to a similar Decalogue display in Arkansas.

So, as there is no permanent home as of yet, the group decided that they would unveil the statue in Detroit. This could be seen as a fear tactic to scare those who would seek to display religion in a public place. It would be like them saying, “If you display faith in public, this is what you will get.” But, not everything went as hoped.

The New York-based Satanic Temple had scheduled the unveiling for July 25th in Detroit, Michigan. The group says that it chose Detroit because it has a “good community” of followers, with over 200 members, billing the event as “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery.”

“Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making,” its invitation read.

But because of opposition from local pastors and Churches, the venue was changed and ticketed. They had two locations. One was a fake location where the supporters were told to come but then left there for the real one. Once the guests arrived, they were given the true location.

But this did not stop people from calling on God to stop this group and its activities.

In the meantime, approximately 50 people stood outside of the original venue, Bert’s Warehouse, to pray against Satanism in Detroit.

“We’re fighting for the soul of America. We’re fighting for the soul of the City of Detroit,” David Bullock, pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, told those gathered. “The last thing we should do in Detroit is have a welcome party for the Devil.”

“Satan has no place in this city, or any other city,” James Bluford of Rochester Hills likewise prayed out as attendees joined together to pray as the event took place.
Posted in these groups: World-religions-2 ReligionE7a2d583 DetroitSurvey_bars Survey
115 people commented on this discussion.

I do not agree with this directive. We can not give into these people who want to change our way of life and in addition kill Americans, especially soldiers without weapons.
Posted in these groups: Survey_bars SurveyImages SecurityClothing2 UniformsOpsec_security OPSEC
32 people commented on this discussion.
Russia has a plenthora of military branches and consolidated several to make something akin to our Air Force:

What are the implications of this, good or bad?
Posted in these groups: Usaf_logo Air ForceRussia_logo Russia979a8ca4 UkraineThe-milky-way-galaxy Space
2 people commented on this discussion.
My question, to the RallyPoint community, is what do you think is best for service members concerning uniforms. Personally, I find the idea of wearing the service uniform, daily, is a horrendous idea birthed from an unknown good idea fairy. Service uniform Fridays are uncomfortable or annoying, but I can understand their necessity in a less war-time driven military. What are your thoughts? Will this help in retention rates or esprit de corps?

Marines can now vote on switching to service "bravos" or "charlies" as the uniform of the day year-round — or doing away with the desert camouflage utility uniform altogether.

Those are two of the proposals in a new survey launched by the Marine Corps Uniform Board this week, ahead of the board's next meeting in August. The survey, available to active-duty and Reserve Marines through an online portal, includes three uniform changes for Marines to consider, some with sub-recommendations.

Marines' feedback on all these questions will not determine the way ahead on these uniform questions, but may be a major influence on final decisions, said Marine Corps Uniform Board manager Mary Boyt.

"The survey results will be briefed at the formal Uniform Board meeting during the deliberation phase of the process and will be briefed to the commandant and his staff in conjunction with the formal Uniform Board recommendation on the issues," she said.

Here is a look at the changes being considered:

Changing seasonal uniforms
Marines can vote on three separate recommendations affecting the uniform of the day. The first recommendation would require force-level commanders to establish and coordinate seasonal uniform periods based on the climate in their area of operation. Currently, Marines worldwide are on the same seasonal uniform cycle; they wear desert camouflage utilities in the spring and summer, and woodland cammies in the fall and winter, rotating uniforms with the change in daylight saving time.

This seasonal uniform change was mandated in 2008 by the commandant at the time, Gen. James Conway. It came after the Marines completed development of their prized Marine pattern utilities uniform, and was designed to bring uniformity to the Corps' look worldwide. However, this homogeneous approach has long presented a challenge for troops living in widely varied climates around the world.

The second recommendation would remove the Marine Corps combat utility uniform, or cammies, from the seasonal rotation altogether. Rather, commanders would dictate the appropriate cammies uniform on a non-seasonal basis, taking into account climate and training requirements. This would give a commander in Okinawa, Japan, for example, the ability to keep Marines there in woodland cammies year-round while enabling a commander in Twentynine Palms, California, to mandate year-round desert camouflage.

A third option would make the more formal service uniform the uniform of the day, reserving cammies for fieldwork, training or deployments only. If this option is selected, the relevant Marine commander could still make exceptions based on climate, weather and training requirements. Right now, the "bravo" or "charlie" service uniform is only the uniform of the day on Fridays. Service uniform Fridays were established in 2013 by then-Commandant Gen. James Amos in an effort to improve Marines' professional appearance and crack down on overweight troops taking advantage of the looser-fitting utility uniform.

The question of changes to seasonal uniform regulations had been designated for discussion at a Uniform Board meeting this winter, Boyt said. But Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford's staff requested the issue get an earlier look due to several seasonal uniform change waiver requests that had been submitted from around the fleet this year. This spring, unseasonably chilly weather in the National Capitol Region prompted Headquarters Marine Corps to grant a one-month delay on rolling sleeves up. Marines stationed in the region switched to the desert cammies summer uniform with the rest of the Corps in early March, but were allowed to keep their sleeves down until April 1.

Ditching desert utility cammies
Marines can vote on whether to do away with the requirement to maintain utility uniforms in the desert MARPAT color scheme. If this option is approved, Marines would be required to maintain four woodland MARPAT cammies uniforms instead.

This proposal represents a cost-saving measure for Marines, Boyt said.

Desert MARPAT cammies were added to the Marines' sea bag in 2003, she said, to ensure Marines had two styles of utility uniforms to meet any contingency requirements. But in 2006, Marines began deploying with flame resistant organizational gear as their combat uniform rather than desert MARPAT because of the threat of improvised explosive devices on the ground.

'[Desert cammies] will only be worn in combat in the absence of an IED threat," Boyt said. "Removing the desert MARPAT uniforms from the minimum requirement list will save the Marine Corps money as Marines will no longer be paid to maintain two different styles of utilities."

If this recommendation is adopted, Marines deploying to desert environments would be issued FROG uniforms or desert cammies, said Capt. Dominic Pitrone, a spokesman for Headquarters Marine Corps. Marines deploying to wooded or jungle environments would be able to wear their issued woodland utilities.

A unisex dress blue coat
Marines are asked whether they prefer to keep the current, blazer-like female dress blue coat with a lapel collar, or adopt a prototype redesign that resembles the male version, with a high mandarin collar. Marines can also vote to keep the current coat, but adopt the redesign as a special-assignment item to be issued on a more specific basis. For example, Female Marines in ceremonial units might receive the modified jacket, while others might not.

This question comes after two years of tests and experiments with new looks for female dress blues. Research began with a wear test of a mandarin-collar dress coat for female Marines in ceremonial units at Marine Barracks Washington in July 2013. The testing coincided with the advent of gender-neutral physical standards for male and female Marines and a push to open more combat jobs to women.

“As we’re re-evaluating the role of women in the Marine Corps as a whole,” Barracks spokesman Capt. Jack Norton said at the time, “we’re also re-evaluating the uniforms that are being used.”

The Marine Corps has since expanded the wear test to the entire Washington region. In January and February, officials toured stateside Marine bases to solicit feedback on the new look.

Research on the coat is now complete, Boyt said. A decision on how to adopt the new look will be made during the August Uniform Board meeting.

Historically, Marines' survey responses have played a limited role in the process. Amos pushed out a short-lived year-round "sleeves down" policy despite the objections of 61 percent of Marine respondents in 2011, before reversing his decision in 2013. Marine officials responded quickly, however, to outcry over a 2013 Uniform Board survey question regarding adoption of a rounded "Dan Daly" dress cap in place of the traditional male white dress cover. After the Internet ignited over the prospect of Marines being forced to wear "girly hats," the Corps published a statement reassuring Marines that there was no intention of changing the classic male cover.
22 people commented on this discussion.
From: ABC News

Fitness Enthusiast John Burk said despite the media's negative portrayal of his online video rant on obesity and healthy living, the public has been singing his praises for his brutal honesty and motivation.

"It's been 95 percent positive and these other news agencies are saying I'm under fire," Burk of Hinesville, Georgia told ABC News. "I have so much overwhelming support for what I said. I see a comment here, a comment there, but mostly I hear 'Thank you for saying that.'

"I've changed thousands of lives daily from people saying that 'This is the blunt-force trauma I needed for me to quit making excuses and lying to myself, and get up and do something.'"

Burk, 31, a former drill sergeant in the United States Army Infantry, said some viewers are portraying his speech as negative, however, he said he posted it on Facebook to encourage people to choose a healthier lifestyle.

"First and foremost, I will not apologize," he said. "I will not retract what I said regardless of what society thinks. There is a difference between anger and passion. That was passion. People are so quick to say 'Oh, he's so angry.'"

Burk uploaded the profanity-laced video on July 5, where it has since received over 3 million views and upwards of 31,000 shares.

In addition, the comments came rolling in — some calling Burk a "mouthy bully" and others saying he's "inspirational."

"What really aggravates me is how society views it that it's perfectly OK to be overweight, as long as you're happy," Burk said. "People keep saying it's not my business and you're right, it's not. I think the blunt truth of it is either making an excuse, or you're going after it. Essentially, that’s what this video was about."

Burk, a father of two, said he feels it's important for adults to adopt positive eating habits for the sake of their children.

"My overall goal, quite honestly, is to start a revolution to stop living so unhealthily," he said. "We can do so much for our lives. For me, it starts with good health and fitness and a good, healthy, mind. The people that work had and go to the gym, they're called obsessed with their body, gym rats, meat heads — but if someone is eating too much or degrading their health and you say one negative thing, you are 'fat shaming.' It’s the hypocrisy that I can't understand.

"Their personality might be beautiful, but your body, in my opinion, is not," Burk added. "Since when did it become beautiful for someone to be obese? It's not. It's unhealthy. People automatically assume that’s fat shaming."

Burk said that he will continue making more videos for Facebook and his site, in hopes to coach viewers on nutrition and basic workout tips.
Posted in these groups: Vtvr2bwn4 SoldierLogo_no_word_s Fitness1624-news-onl_article News
79 people commented on this discussion.
In my youth, I held fallacies that the military was for people that couldn’t make it in ‘the real world’, or some sort of go to war / go to jail situation. ‘Jar Heads’ were loud musclebound idiots; 100 Sailors went down in a submarine and 50 couples came up; the Army was cannon fodder, whose ranks were full of thugs and runaway convicts; the ‘ChairForce’ was where those that thought themselves too smart/pretty went to fly planes and be ‘fobits’; Coast Guard spent their days as border patrol, out at night with spotlights on immigrants telling them to turn their doors around and float back to where they came from.

Young as I may be, I’ve had a hell of a ride, I have made mistakes, I have fallen countless times but I always stood back up. Before I became focused and decided on what I wanted and what was required of me to accomplish, I dropped out of both high school and college. My stepfather always said “begin with the end in mind.” Since I established what my ‘end game’ was, I have made every decision based on whether it would aid me in achieving my goals.

I had finally gotten myself on track, I had overcome an arrest and was excelling and accelerating into a career in paint sales. I began contributing to a 401k at 18, always ensuring to put in at least the 5% that the company matched, and had full medical benefits. I was being trained in Outside Sale and Store Management, and was offered my own store with a substantial raise in pay and bonus opportunities, and a company funded bachelor’s in business management. I began thinking to myself, “Is this it?!” Did I want to sell paint for the rest of my life? I was making good money, and there was room to grow and the cooperation had locations all over the world so I wasn’t exactly ‘stuck at home’. Then I had what I like to call my ‘Early Mid-Life Crisis,’ I woke up one morning and decided that I was going to join the Air Force, and found myself in the Army’s BCT a few months later.

Needless to say, my presumed stereotypes were shattered! The Army has proven to be, and offers far more than I so ignorantly believed. The military is a melting pot of peoples and cultures from all over the world, expanded by the locations that you are bound to visit during your term. You will make friends-for-life who no matter the distance between, or the time apart, they are one of your greatest resources and you them. Leadership development and advancing technical expertise are inevitable byproducts of your time served. There are endless education opportunities available through SkillPort, TA, GI Bill, military schools and endless professional development. The military pays you to workout and be fitter, healthier and happier!

Especially in the more technical fields, it may seem that we are not being paid nearly what our training, education and experience would be worth in the civilian sector. First, you should include BAH and BAS in your monthly earnings, even if you are in the barracks you should consider that you are not paying rent or utilities. We receive free medical for ourselves and our families, there is discounted travel available through LTS. The Exchange Services offer us products and reduces and tax free rates, and more often than not we are gifted with military discounts when ‘off post’. With the technical training, and leadership experience, there are civilian businesses all over the world fighting for you! There are pension plans available for your years of service, as well as medical retirements for SM’s that have been injured in their service. Serve four or serve 20, you will be all the more valuable to those business and can move onto more lucrative markets, and retain a ‘Veteran’ status that is widely recognized and supported. The DoD even offers career opportunities to prior service SM’s with the numerous available GS, GG, IC, SES and contractor positions that support the local/deployed mission and various federal functions.

There are countless resources, programs and organizations whose purpose is to support us. There are USO’s in every major airport, available for us and our families. ACS has numerous classes, programs and professionals aimed to aid the service member. Military One Source offers councilors and confidential help for family & relationships, financial & legal matters, health & wellness, education & employment and much more. The MWR hosts regular morale/entertainment events on post, has recreational facilities on major installations where SM’s can gather, and actively/continually supports the deployed SM in all major conflicts. The new Soldier For life program, introduced by SMA Dailey, has been a crucial step forward in preparing short term and retiring Soldiers for life after the Army. It replaces ACAP and has resources and training that will help Soldiers successfully reintegrate into civilian life, and help unsure Soldiers decide if they are truly prepared to leave the service rather than “I’ll figure it out when I get out.” There are so many more ‘perks’ to serving in the armed forces that I could list and that I may not even be aware of.

This may be the last benefit that I am listing but it is in no way the least important, I have the upmost appreciation for it. MENTORS! During my time in the military I have come across individuals, leaders and technicians that have instilled something that cannot be measured. Like many others, I have encountered individuals that have had a direct and indirect hand in my personal and professional development. No matter what it is that you are striving for, there are people that can help guide you along the way. The military is constantly grooming the next generation, take advantage of what your leaders, peers and subordinates have to offer.

If you can keep your head up and follow this simple mantra, you will have no choice but to benefit from your time and succeed in whatever you do. “Be in the right place, at the right time, in the right uniform, WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE!” As long as you don’t let negative individuals or disadvantageous situations get you down, keep your goals in mind and do what is necessary to achieve them, you will triumph.

In retrospect, I wish that my recruiter had spoken more on these things rather than the guns, guts and glory. I imagine that we could positively affect the future of the military by changing our pitches to inspire more of the 'missed opportunities' that do not join based on their ignorance and public stereotypes.
9 people commented on this discussion.

Our servicemembers and veterans value their privacy. Please confirm your service on the next page for free, permanent access to your military network.