The sun sets behind US Navy ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) docked at the Manila Pier in Manila on March 5, 2016. / AFP / NOEL CELIS
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The service branch loosened its body fat restrictions in January and is allowing those who failed their exams three or more times to get one more opportunity to be tested this spring under the more lenient guidelines. The Navy said it has been losing too many talented sailors. The Navy allowed about 2,400 sailors who passed a preliminary test under the new rules to stay in, reducing the number of failures on their records from three to one, said Navy spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. The number of sailors booted from the Navy annually because they did not meet physical standards has more than doubled from 694 in 2011 to 1,536 in 2014 .Some 34,000 sailors, or roughly 10 percent of the force, have failed the physical requirements at least once since 2011, mostly because of body fat, Christensen said.The Navy's old policy allowed for 22 percent body fat for males ages 17-39, and 33 percent body fat for females ages 17-39 . The new limits fall in line with the Department of Defense standards and allow sailors to pass with a maximum 26 percent of body fat for men and 36 percent for women.
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