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Universal Physical Fitness Testing for United States Guardians Afloat

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The U.S. Coast Guard does not universally require a periodic physical fitness test. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to struggle with identity, constantly caught between civil and military responsibilities. This conflict extends to physical fitness testing. With the exception of the U.S. Coast Guard, all of the U.S. Armed Forces Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy annually conduct mandatory physical fitness testing. Data from the 2013 State of the Behavioral Health of the United States Coast Guard report indicates that at least 8 percent of Guardians do not engage in regular physical activities and are likely metabolically obese normal-weight, better known as skinny fat. The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, communicates that inactive in unhealthy. Nevertheless, the U.S. Coast Guard has yet to implement a universal physical fitness test. Universal policies, by definition, have broad impacts, and thereby, require an examination. This research methodically examines the impacts on the U.S. Coast Guard Afloat Officer community through a comparison analysis between the U.S. Coast Guards status quo policy and the implementation of a periodic universal physical fitness test. The study employed data analysis software to add rigor and quantify effects to this subjective evaluation. The findings argue for implementing a periodic universal physical fitness test throughout the U.S. Coast Guard.

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