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Contrary to popular belief, there is no maximum "weight" to join or stay in the military. "Weight" is not the standard. Body-Fat percentage is.

However, it takes more time to measure body-fat than it does to weigh a member. Therefore, each of the services have weight charts that they use to "screen" members. If a military member weighs more than the allowed weight on the chart, they are measured for body-fat percentage.
October 11, 2007 at 12:09 am
(1) Henry says:

I used to work PT programs in a couple of commands I was stationed. During one those times, I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of physical physiologist, both who said that the body fat measurements do not come close to what the true body fat of the individuals are. The trueist way to get a true body fat of someone is to do hydro-static testing. Until the military realizes this, the body fat charts are not true.

October 15, 2007 at 12:08 pm
(2) Warrant says:

Not only that but adding a set 9 pounds per 2 inch up thru 6 foot 5 doesn’t work. At best it only “works” for between 5’4″ and 5’10″ outside of that you are getting really overweight short people and rail thin tall people.

I am 6’2″ and weigh in around 225lbs. A tape test shows me at about 23% a hydro tank shows me at about 18%. In any case the army says im unhealthy every specially trained doctor in the world would say that 18% body fat is about perfect.

October 17, 2007 at 11:25 am
(3) Staff Sergeant says:

I am the Army Weight Control Program (AWCP) NCOIC for my unit. I am also a Exercise Physiology graduate student. The issue here is not some much the accuracy of the screening process (height and weight tables)and the accuracy of the Body composition worksheets ( DA Form 5500), it is the process afterwards. All body composition tests have margin of error, these errors are mostly due to the professionals conducting the test. The standard by which the US Army measures is inaccurate, no doubt, but for the purpose of mass screening, it is better than height and weight tables alone. The major issue is that with the known inaccuracy the soldier is only given the opportunity to have a Physician determine if there are underlying causes to their “weight problem” and not the opportunity to have an accurate test by a professional, not a E-5 with a tape measure, to ensure that their career in the military is not jeopardized. The commander of a unit has the authorization to request a body composition to be done on a soldier based off of appearance, but with such a large margin of error the soldier should be given the opportunity to have an Exercise Physiologist conduct such tests as Under Water Weighing, Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, Skin Fold Testing, or Bod Pod (air displacement). All these test require professionals training and experience. The Army simply needs to ensure that they are taking a positive step forward in dealing with our soldiers health over all, and also ensuring that inaccurate testing methods do not cost us experienced soldiers by Flagging them from promotion, reenlistment, or favorable actions based off this standard alone. The weight tables and the measurement standards need to be reconsidered along with post test opportunities to ensure we are not punishing good soldiers whom are not being given the level of expert guidance in PT and Weight Control that is possible. We should staff Exercise Physiologists (on a Brigade level at least) within the Army to give advice to commanders on the physical fitness and weight control of their soldiers and conduct these tests for soldiers whom challenge their units Body Composition results

November 28, 2011 at 8:31 am
(4) Specialist says:

Well put, but remember it’s Army strong not Army Smart.

December 4, 2007 at 12:00 am
(5) Major says:

After almost 13 years on active duty, hearing an NCO say this about the tape test is surprising (in a very positive way). I’m 6’5″ and weigh in at 255. I’ve been taped for all 13 of my active duty years and all of my ROTC years and it’s something that flat out grates on me everytime I get checked. Insofar as the weight standards, yes, they’re skewed to short overweight and tall skinny. I’m supposed to weigh 223 for my height, but I don’t know too many NBA players my height that weigh less than 220. But yes, the tape test is a good enough measure for mass consumption. As a former commander in a field artillery unit, I gave my soldiers the benefit of the doubt unlike some of my peers. But a standard is a standard and Soldiers should make an effort to meet it. I do… I don’t like the standard, but I still meet it. And I expect my subordinates to do the same.

January 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm
(6) SPECIALIST says:


January 18, 2008 at 10:23 am
(7) Kaitlyn says:

Warrent that is probably because you are male and muscular. BMI is not very good for men, let alone muscular ones.

I know plenty of shorter guys who also weigh well over what the height/weight charts suggest that have a healthy level of body fat.

January 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(8) The Sarge says:

As with many programs in the Military, this one, weight control, is approached with a “magic wand” mindset:

1) As stated in previous comments, the hydro-static/”dunk” test is the ONLY way to achieve results anywhere near accurate. This, of course, requires much in the way of facilities, time, personnel training, etc. Rather than doing it right, the expedient method of taping has prevailed. True, either way, the majority of “lardos” will be I.D.d, however, in the process, many fine-to-outstanding Military members must contend…this, of course, can have a somewhat devestating impact on careers.

2) On the other side of the camp, there are many who, in the judgement of this Ole Army Salt, and for a variety of reasons, have no business wearing the uniform. Young Soldiers, after repeated go-arounds, fail APFT after APFT; in the process, bolo weigh-in/tape-in after weigh-in/tape-in…yet, somehow, by the wisdom of the powers that be, are allowed to remain in uniform, wasting Army chow in the process, not to mention NCOs’ time.

3) Tape-in is easily passed, in many situations, by going “light on the heels” at altitude check, and “sucking it in” come tape time. A good ab workout regimen goes a long way in this regard.

The whole point in this reply is two-fold:

1) Like my Pappy used to say, “If you’re going to do something, do it right”.

2) If, after identifying Military members who continualy fail to measure up in terms of BMI standards, they are, nonetheless, allowed to remain in uniform…WHAT’S THE POINT OF THE ENTIRE EXERCISE?

January 26, 2008 at 12:08 am
(9) Scott J. Stant says:

My daughter is a MP in the Army. She has been flagged since last yr. when the new tape standard came out. I spoke with her today on PX, she is in Germany. She is upset because they are putting her out of the Army due to her BMI. The old tape standard she is fine. Now I can’t understand if you can pass a PT test why put a soldier out.

March 3, 2008 at 5:19 am
(10) PFC says:


April 2, 2008 at 10:18 am
(11) Doctor B says:

After 10yrs active duty Family Physician. This issue came up often, around the time of every APFT. My approach was to get a “gold standard” dunk test measurement, if locally available, or a caliper test. Although the caliper test is not perfect, it is certainly better than the “old” tape test standards. Once armed with an accurate Body Fat Percentage, I’d approach the SM command. Over the years, I spoke with many COs and First Sgts. Usually, they appreciated the more accurate measurement and would score the SM based on my numbers. But, not always. And unfortunately there was not a thing I could do about it. The Army saw the physicians job as finding “why are they fat” not “are they actually fat”. Some COs were quite unhappy with my efforts and could not have cared less. In most of these cases it seemed they were using the tape test as a punitive measure.

April 9, 2008 at 10:17 pm
(12) SPC says:

I will not rest until I personally have done all I can to convince whatever yahoos came up with the ridiculous new female standards that they are full of crap. If this really were, in fact, all about “being healthy” and trying to screen people that carry excess weight around their middle because of long-term adverse health effects, WHY ARE THEY NOT BARRING PROMOTION TO TOBACCO USERS????? There are MANY, MANY more studies that show smoking has a detrimental effect on one’s health (let alone the rest of us that have to breath their ******* smoke second-hand) that if they want to not be hypocritical, they need to start flagging and barring smokers. Another thing I’m sick of is damn NCO graders standing around smoking while I’m TRYING to do well on my APFT!!!!! That is WRONG.

If this truly is a “health” issue and not a “women should look sexy in uniform” issue, you need to start targetting smokers because they are causing themselves long-term ill health effects.

Bottom line is if I can score a 270 on my APFT, you really need to leave me the f*** alone about the bodyfat issue until you can come up with a really accurate method to measure it, ok? I bet I could carry a beer-gutted E6 off the battlefield easier than someone that meets the height/weight screening table and/or bodyfat standards but that can’t pass the APFT. Which would you rather have? A muscular female that can do her part as a solid, functional member of a team or some female that meets the so-called “bodyfat standard” but that may or may not be able to pass the APFT and is weak? Answer me that one, whatever flippin’ idiot came up with this new standard.

April 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm
(13) SGT says:

I have been in the military for almost eight years. I have been an E-5 since July of 04″ and is unable to make promotion because of this new standard. I was three percent under with the old standard and now five percent over with the new. What dictates a soldiers outstanding performance, both physically and professionally? I am 5″ 11″, play basketball and can lift almost anything you show me. I always look professional and often commended for my appearance. So, how is it that now all of a sudden, I have to have a skinny waistline in order to me army material? I tell you what, with all the war going on and the amount of soldiers coming on the program, I’m sure the army wont be happy until they dont have no more soldiers to fight. Because who aint dead gonna be put out for being to fat. THink about it and reconsider this ridiculous rule. Promotion and all favorable actions shoule be granted by unit command based on performance, not weight.

May 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm
(14) FORSCOM says:

The topic of height – weight standards and military appearance is paramount to “self control” not weight, it never was. I “volunteered” to serve our country as most of you however, all branches are equally concerned with (I) the conduct in which we serve (II) the ability to follow regulations, obey lawful orders of those elected or appointed over us. To make an argument of the height – weight standard is follie and a waste of time. I struggled my entire career, two pounds over, five pounds over yet, it was my “self control” that was in question not bouncing five pounds over and back. If what I type does not make sense, you’re in the wrong profession. Am I, are you going to trust a squad leader, platoon sergeant etc… whom lack the ability and effort to stay fit, work well and look good while doing it? Has “Walking Tall and Looking Good” gone with the wind? This “New Combat Army” is not mine, this Army of One? Horse Dump! Biggest oxymoron of the last two-hundred years. The USA, she doesn’t need an Army of One, seperate individuals makes for a rable of complaining mal-contents, not an Army. When this “individual plague” struck it was the end of discipline, self-esteem. A true patriot follows regulations including NOT GETTING FAT, it bad for morale, it’s bad for the Army which reflects directly on the United States. I ate apples and drank diet soda, did remedial PT and voluntary extra PT to keep five lousy pounds at bay, I submitted to caliper testing or the equivalant in this “so-called” modern Army however, I see many things that haven’t become so modern, excuses, shamming, self-control topics. A few blogs prior to this a troop complained about promotions, leave and schools and yes, it’s true. These things must be earned and as I was told by a draftee “you volunteered no one forced you”. It’s OK to be reminded of that, daily. The young NCOIC of his unit’s “FATBOY” program is so very right-on. Uncle Sam is dealing with the mass Army and dealing with mass there are always minority errors however, as he stated and I’ll use my own words, it’s usually the opeartors “Head Space and Timing”. It’s a soldiers duty to bitch and complain but he must be willing to deal with the consequences. Some of us, including myself fight weight daily. That few dollars pulled from your “pay voucher” that represents the “Old Soldiers Home” that would be me and this advice, eat in the mess hall, stay away from the garbage food industry and most important P.T. be there, do it and you’ll get that promotion, leave or school or go sweat it out in Iraq on patrol. Be good.

May 30, 2008 at 1:48 pm
(15) The Sarge...Again says:

I see some very interesting comments here, which beg an evaluation on a bit of a broader, though no more or less of importance, concern.

The military, particularly the Army, has, in recent months, drastically reduced some of the time-honored requirements for enlistment. When the “New Volunteer Army” was hatched, in the post Viet Nam era, much was made of the “enhanced” requirements which would lead to a more-professional fighting force. The minimum requirement of a high school diploma was one of these “new and improved” standards (hear the resounding applauding in the background, accompanied by the inevitable self-congratulatory back-patting within the ranks of those who establish these goals, only to withdraw them in time of need). Moral standards, once on a level beyond reproach, are also on the sacrificial alter in the name of expedience.

Now it appears that the very same “powers that be”…those who would permit “once-undesirables” to populate the Force, are indeed ready and willing to disrupt, if not ruin, established/budding careers of those who actually met the standard.

With the realization that we’re talking about two seperate issues…Enlistment Standards and Promotion/Retention Standards, the common factor remains, ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING AN EFFECTIVE FORCE.

When a Soldier aspires to become an Aviator, the entry vision standard is 20-20. After flight school, the Soldier is permitted to continue flying, with waiver/corrective lenses, with less-than 20-20.

Employing the same approach for Soldiers not meeting weight/tape standards would indeed be a wise decision.

The Sarge

June 6, 2008 at 8:22 am
(16) Ang says:

I have noticed a lot of comments that say if one can pass the physical fitness test then they should be left alone with it comes to weight issues. These standards are put in place to insure that individuals are carrying on a proper military appearance. I know multiple service members that have an excellent PFT score but they look completely disgusting in uniform. Unless an individual is a gym buff or just had a child they should not have problems meeting the weight standards. I have never met or seen someone that looked good in uniform while being over their weight limit; unless they are a gym rat. On another note, if a service member is put on BCP they are given at tops one year to get within standards if they show some signs of improvement on their 6 month eval. Military members are suppose to be physically fit and “look” fit at the same time. Fat rolls, jigglies, and beer bellies do not belong in the military no matter how fast the legs that carry them can run!

July 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm
(17) Dale says:

What is this “looks good in a uniform” thing? I cant count the number of military members who may have looked good in a uniform, but where pathetic, lazy and spoiled soldiers. When does appearance alone determine the quality of soldier? I am one of those who can pass every other Body fat test out there, but cannot pass the tape test. I am off by 2%. I have had a caliper test given to me, I did it twice in one day and then the next day did it twice again. I was between 20% and 21% both times. I go to the tape test, and I test at 26%. I am suppose to be 24%. A 6% difference between the two tests is ridiculous. I get professional opinions and they each say there is no way I am at 26% body fat. But the Army doesnt accept any test or professional opinions. Just a test that is inaccurate. Why can’t the Army accept more than one test. Use the Tape test to weed and then when you get the ones that are obviously not over the max amount accept the Caliper or the “Dunk” test.
Or better yet. Spend $15.00 and get a caliper set, then train and certify soldiers to give this test and stop ruining good careers. Why aren’t the people that give the tape test required to be properly trained and certified in the first place?

In the Civilian world a company would be sued over a test like this. But, I guess the Army doesnt need many people, so sending them to the Civilian world for better pay, working conditions, less hours, and less ridiculous regulations is doing them a favor.

But quit showing your ignorance by judging someones abilities and job performance by how they look in uniform. When the surgeon has you open and he is saving your life, do you care if he is sexy in a uniform? If you do, Don’t ask and Don’t tell.

July 2, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Weight and tape measurements are the most ridiculous thing the military could ever do. When I was in the Army I was sent to KOREA in 1991 and served on the western corridor in a unit Camp Edwards 296 FSB that no longer exists. I carried an M-60, 200 rounds of ammo a full pack, M-16 and by the middle point of a 15 mile road march usually another ruck from some TINY PUKE THAT FIT WELL WITHIN THE MILITARY WEIGHT STANDARDS. My weight was always an issue and required the fat boy program for a while to “whip me into shape.” Why did my fat body get strapped with two rucksacks, 200 rounds of ammo, an M-16, and web gear? BECAUSE I WAS CAPABLE! DID THAT MATTER? NO! Did I ever complain? NO!!!!!!! But I am now because the Army saw fit to put me out over 0.4% body fat in 1995! A person’s abilities should be measured appropriately! Are they trying to save wood/ metal on coffins by ensuring soldiers are not too wide for the boxes they make en mass! Even now I would challenge any soldier to a test of intelligence, abilities, physical strength and endurance. I guarantee there is a better soldier in me at 37 years old physically and mentally than at least 75% or more of all that are in this ARMY of 1 B*** S*** now!

July 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm
(19) Specialist says:

Dale and Forcex:

I completely agree with both of you; in fact with a good chunk of the comments posted here. The army tape measurements, old standards or new standards, are outdated regardless. Soldiers should get a second opinion, not from a different E5 with a tape measure, but from someone who is certified to give a caliper test. Give the soldiers an option. If they happen to fail a tape test, let them go to a licensed physician and get a waiver with a caliper test, or dunk test. Who should argue with an actual doctor who will know if you are over the weight or not. If the doctor passes you, hey, that’s great. If the doctor in the end doesn’t pass you, then you know whose judgement you should listen to.

Stop griping and complaining and do something about it! Like it was said many times before, fail the initial tape, go to a doctor! They are really the only ones who should tell you if you are unhealthy or not. Soldiers should be allowed to take this option. I, personally, would not listen to an E5 to tell me by weight is unhealthy due to the tape test. I trust my licensed doctor to tell me that, and guide me to a skilled nutritionist to bring me to my standard.

And Forcex, I would like to tell you that I would 100% trust the “fat boy” to save my butt on the battlefield, than some skinny person who can barely carry their own weight. Many times have I seen those “Fat boys” carry the largest loads without an effort, while I see the “Skinny Boys” suffer.

July 15, 2008 at 11:43 pm
(20) SGT says:

I am 5’9 and weigh 173lbs, and I score a 300 on my pt test almost everytime. The lord blessed me with great wide hips and I fail the tape everytime. I am only 2 lbs over the MAX. So can anyone explain to me why I am getting flagged and barred???

August 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(21) melinda says:

Oh! thats nothing in the unit im in they tape at 1500 with acu’s and then pretend for you to pas a tape test? are we suppoused to be tape in acu’s as far as i know,no,under the AR 600-9 thanks

August 31, 2008 at 6:54 pm
(22) Janice says:

I have been in the Army for almost twelve years and I had never failed a tape test and have never failed a pt test. However since last April when the new height and weight tape test came in to effect I am taping atleast 5% over but if taped on the old one I am still coming in around 7% percent under. I am fearing for my military career. I give it my all I am 45 yrs. old and a female. Other soldiers are in complete ah when they find out I am on the over weight program so imagine how I feel. I love working with my young soldiers and really would love to finish the Army with a hard earned retirement. I do pt atleast twice a day I am not all that big however I do not have a tiny waist. If anyone holds the secret please let me know. SSG Jones

January 5, 2009 at 3:46 am
(23) thomas says:

i think the army needs to update and improve the weight program. i understand that the idea was that it wanted to make sure that all soldiers look good in uniform and bring a military look to all soldiers who serve. however it is costing the army good soldiers and is making people who are trying to work hard get completely unmotivated. i serve my unit with four additional duties and still manage to get my regular job done too. but now because i don’t look sexy my uniform i have lost out on my next promotion and i ma about to get barred or worse chaptered. also on one final note, many soldiers in deployed status are not getting the support in accordence with regs.

January 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm
(24) Caleb says:

My name is Caleb. I went to see a recuiter today and he didnt even talk to me about anything dealing with the military other then saying that I could not yet qualify. I am 6’2 340 and have a 48 inch waist and a 19 inch neck. Why is it that when the army says they are so desperate for recruits they turn away people who want to join just because they are too big?

January 13, 2009 at 10:17 am
(25) spc says:

the bottom line is the test doesent matter what matters is who you know or how cute are u thats it if your cute and some sgt wants to get in your pants youll pass the army is so corrupt it makes me sick just like peoples leave forms getting lost oops i mean shredded all the way up the chain its who u know not like the real world who gets the job done .army is a broken organization the only reason were somewhat succesful in battles is we have overwhelming fire power . the leadership is horrible. rome wasnt built in a day but it can sure fall in one. time is coming.

May 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm
(26) Jessica USMC CPL says:

SPC maybe in the ARMY is based on how cute you are or who you know. I am not a bad looking woman and everything I accomplished in the Marines has been earned not given, so do not think that everyone, every service, every unit, or every leader is the same. I got out of the Marines 5 months ago and had a baby right before my EAS, now I want to get back in, but I haven’t try to because I know I am way over my max weight and I don’t think I’m going to get away with it just if I try to talk to people I know or flirt and sweet talk my way back in, I know that if I want back in, I will have to work hard for it, just like boot camp. So don’t you dare to compare yourself to us.

May 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm
(27) Native Girl says:

Hiya. I say all we U.S. Female Soldiers should petition or whatever it takes to make aware of these standards for us. it is unfair. I am an alaskan native, no i don’t eat blubber, i do hold a lot of blubber on my waistline as a lot of us do. i like my beer and moosemeat. i do pass my P.T. test and am possibly being waivered for my next extension. i have six months to get in shape. i had no problem before the new standard in all my 17 yrs with the Army National Guard. Maybe i better get the Polar Bear to start chasing me again.

June 1, 2009 at 12:26 am
(28) Was MSG Now 2LT says:

I am a 43 year old female who has been in the Army for 26 years. I was just commissioned as a 2LT after attaining the rank of MSG. My commission was delayed because of my difficulty in passing the new female body-fat tape test.

For my entire career I have been calipered (I have been in long enough to remember when they did that) or taped 3-4 times per year. (It is supposed to be 2x per year in conjunction with the PT test but they always have some other excuse like SRP, physical, etc.).

I failed the first taping under the new method for taping females. A month later I was taped again. I had lost about 4 pounds but it really showed in inches; the commander and others commented on my improved appearance. However, a different person taped me. According to her (she was not our regular weight control officer), I had gone UP 3%! 6 days later I tracked down our regular weight control officer on her civilian job. She took one look and commented on my obvious weight loss. She taped me at 3% LESS than she had the month before, which was 6% less than the other officer had taped me only 6 days earlier. The fact that two people can get a result 6 percentage points apart in as many days invalidates this test; it is entirely subjective, based on tape placement and how tightly it is pulled. The Army needs to just go by the PT test and be done with it. Even if they make it a little harder to pass, at least you wont have to contend with a moving target; and if it is a little more challenging, the natural result will be increased effort and improved waistlines for all of us.

Incidentally, our weight control officer runs 100-mile marathons but according the the ne Army tape test for females, stands at 31% body fat.

CALEB, in response to your question about why the military will not take someone at your weight: believe me when I tell you; I was a Drill Sergeant in the mid-90′s when the Army made the mistake of letting significantly overweight soldiers attend Basic Training under the premise that they would lose the weight during the course of training. You are a liability and could be injured during training because of your weight. You would also be a drain on the resources of the training cadre (i.e., Drill Sergeants) and this would take their time away from training other soldiers because you would not be able to keep up. Do what you can to get your weight down and then join. I don’t want to see anyone with a desire not get to fulfill their dreams.

As for those of you who are fixed on the issue of appearance; it’s not the prettiest soldiers who win wars. It is the most capable, and one’s waistline does not correlate with ability.

FORSCOM, I cannot tell you how much I resent it when the Army suggests that my larger waistline is indicative of a lack of self-discipline. If this is the case, then those with the smallest waistlines must be the most self-disciplined of us all; even if they smoke and drink and never exercise. Although I struggle to pass the tape every time, I pass the PT test, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, any my blood values (e.g. cholesterol) are well within the healthy range because of my habits. I was simply blessed with a slow metabolism (I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and am on hormone replacement therapy) but when it comes down to it, it does not matter. I have a lot more self-discipline than many I know who are naturally thin no matter what they consume, what they smoke, or how little they exercise.

Self-discipline and waistline are not related.

June 6, 2009 at 12:29 am
(29) The Sarge says:

Congratulations LT…E-8 to O-1; you musta been a hit in your OCS class. Talk about inspiration…!

You highlight one of the many near-ridiculous issues which has probably done more harm, over the course of many careers, than any good which it may portend to hold. I remember back in the Dark Ages, some of my fellow NCOs and I, all on jump status, were scoring hi-PT and required the “giggle test”. Some years later, attending an MOS reclass, I noticed, in the mess hall populated largely by “Joes” fresh out of BCT, a donut rack along side the morning’s offerings of traditional breakfast fare. It appeared that those Soldiers, in the 18-to 20-something groups with obvious weight issues, were the prominent visitors to this rack.

Perhaps, as you depart the Junior Officer ranks, you will be able to somehow sow the seeds of common sense within an organization which, on one hand, allows careers to be adversly affected by non-issues, and then turns around and “feeds” those very non-issues.

Good luck and godspeed, LT!


July 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm
(30) Dr. Pasquale says:

Interesting discussion. We have a web site which discuss this. For many military the liposuction has beaten the tape test by taking inches off the waist and hips for woman. Take a look at http://www.militaryplasticsurgery.com

July 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm
(31) the dude says:

for those who think we fatties look like hell in uniform,yet can still manage ta pass the pt test,usually with flyin colors,just let us know when yer hind in is hangin n ya need carried outta harms way or want a hand liftin that oh so heavy equipment n we’ll be sure n go find you handsome g.i ta hook ya up.

July 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(32) BigSteveORama says:

This is a Shame. Especially when a Solider can pass the PT Test and Still gets Flagged. Being in the Army in the Late 90′s…I had a Staff Sgt who told it best. “It’s all how u look in a Uniform.” I was considering Liposuction but they kicked me out before I had a chance to go through with it. There are plenty of good workers in the Army who are overweight. And plenty of Shitty workers who are slim. The PT Test should be the evaluation not bodyfat percentage%

August 26, 2009 at 10:25 pm
(33) Hopeful Future Soldier says:

I am a 23 year old who has been trying to get into the military since May of this year. I am approx. 5’4 and 182 pounds. First, I went to an Army Reserve recruiter who told me I’ll be fine as long as I don’t GAIN any weight, however they ended up turning me away because I had not wanted to go in as full-time Army. Now I’m trying to get into the Army National Guard and my recruiter is telling me I need to lose weight in order to be able to get in. Someone Please HELP ME and tell me what is going on?

August 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm
(34) Hopeful Future Soldier (pt. 2) says:

Oh yeah, and the worst part is that I have NOT gained any weight! Also, my waist measurement is now 6 in. smaller, my neck and hips are still the same!! WTF!!!?

September 21, 2009 at 9:16 am
(35) Specialist says:

I’m a specialist in the Field Artillery Corps. of the US Army and I have delt with being overweight for the last four years. I have found it more difficult then honestly I ever thought it to be to lose weight and keep it off i have tried may diffrent supplements and PT programs along with diets and some have worked but not for long or havent worked at all. Im currently sitting here in Iraq and have been weighed and taped every month since i have gotten here and now that i am stop lossed i’m to the point where im wanting to give up on the weight and tape. Since ive been here in Iraq ive gone to the point of starving myself just to satisfy my command it honestly has destroyed what moral i had when i came over here. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

September 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm
(36) SGT Martin says:

I think we should all lobby to our congressman to recommend a change. I have wide hips too, im 5’6″, and i weigh 170-180 give or take I run weekly. I can max my pt test and run really fast. I can run 12′s in the 2miles. However, if i take a weigh-in i will fail. my neck does not like growing. I think as long as you pass the PT test you should not be given a tape test. Makes sense to me.

October 8, 2009 at 2:18 am
(37) pv2 tank says:

Iam a femal that curently weighs 191 and I’m 5’6! The military say I should way 156! I haven’t weight even close 2 that since my high school year! I’m only 20 and iv been in the military 4 a year! I am a pt stud! I max out everything! I’m also a gym rat I bench press 225 and squat more than 300 I also dead lift but I won’t get all into that! I recentyl been stationed at ft campbell! Here is we’re I recived my 1st weight and tape! My sgt said I was over by 4 percent! I don’t understand…my arms are bigger then most guys,my stomach is as solid as a brick wall! But there is one think my mama gave me! Yup the hips! Basicly there telln me I have 2 loose my a**! Wtf! Iv tryed everything diets, pt,fat burners and nothing works! I was put on the fat ppl program! Everyday I go to this fat ppl pt and I laugh bc I look odd as hell! I’m this big musclar built female that’s standn at formation with big beer belly soilders! (Nothings wrong wit beer)lol but I guess I’m just at a loss! Its been 4months now and I’m still da same size! Nothings helping and I’m startn 2 get depresed! Iv even stoped eating! Its like they don’t understand! no 1 Is built the same! Everyones different! The militarys weight and tape standers are wrong! I do agree that they sould keep an eye on soilders and there apperance! But its like there’s the realy skinny people that could eat for days and never gain 1 pound then there the realy big ppl who kno that the decions they are makeing are bad! Over eating and over there tape by 30percent or sum rediculos pecent! But what about the middel guys? The ppl like me! The ones who are over (by the militarys standers) by 2 or 4percent? I have worked my whole life on my body! Iv been lifting and playn sports 4 years…and my butt has never been a problem! So why is it now 4 the military? I don’t kno what 2 do! Iv never been this deppresed in my whole life!like I said iv only been in 4 a year and at the same time I see my self goin out just as fast as I came in if I don’t get my butt(literly) sum help! I can’t get permoted! Iv been an pv2 for 10months I’m ready 2 move up in rank and start sum real responsibilites! And like all this isn’t enough I had an inciddent..I said I was a gym rat..yea about dat! Lol let’s just say I’m gona have knee surgery next month! It dosent help my sitiation! So I guess ill realy b sitn round getn fat! Well see how the army likes me after a few months of sitn on da coach! Lol anyway I’m just realy stuck and was wondering if sum1 could give me an answer? In dier need of help!!!! :’-(

November 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm
(38) Awesome MC Awesome says:

Pv2 tank dont cry, You bench 225, you weigh 190ish. Thats impressive, plus I hope you are hot. F them. I hate those standards, yet I understand them, I am 5’10 260. I have a narrow waist for my size, and if I was a girl I would be F’ED!!! because of my legs and waist. But I have a mesomorphic shape, so I make it, but barely. I am all shoulder and legs. But Its because use big dudes are big targets, and there is this new “fitness” craze, and everyone is trying to adhere to it. I bet it will phase out in two years. They will be doing calipers, just wait.

December 29, 2009 at 2:57 am
(39) FitnessKg says:

Pv2 Tank. You need to get off the weights and get into cardio. If you are doing what you said and have packed on the muscle. Then you to to cut up/shred. You may or may not like it but you are in bodybuilding phase. I know you are hurt and a knee injury is not good. Hope it wasn’t from lifting. Well anyway you have the power n size, now cardio and diet is the key. Less calorie intake, lots of vegetables n fruit, less red meat. Fish, chicken breast in 8 oz portions is your meat/protein intake. Start eating nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts in that order Oh Stay Away from the Condiment and Sauces. Drink plenty of water and for your size and gym rat mentality you should be drinking about 15 cups of water a day, even while you’re on the couch for your injury. If you go to the gym while you’re dealing with your injury keep reps very high 20-30reps, light weight with less rest in between sets 20-40 secs. This will make you sweat and keep your heart rate up. So you don’t have to be a couch potato and get kicked out. So eat right, Cardio cardio, if you lift weights very high reps with very little rest between sets.
I wish you the best soldier. Don’t give up. Be strong. Sorry so late I’m just reading this Blog.

January 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm
(40) Spc Re-enlist says:

To all of you let me first say I feel your pain. I have 8 years prior and have been on a break for 5 years. When I joined at 17 I was 171lbs, 5’8″ and I ran high school cross country, wrestled, track, and JROTC. The first time I was ever taped, right before my ETS, I was 15lbs over the Army’s standard and I was measured at being 20% body fat I weighed 200lbs and was 5′ 9″. I have decided to re-enlist in the Army. I started at 242lbs and 5’9″ 35% body fat with admittedly about 6 inches of waist I needed to lose. I am now 218lbs, 5’9″ and have just made tape for 24% body fat. I am a short and broad shouldered guy, I have been moving furniture and do frequent heavy lifting. This is my observation about the new Army height/weight regs. If you read the regs about where and how they are supposed to tape you and use a little “reading between the lines” when looking at the height weight charts, you’ll find two important insights. 1) the height weight regs dictate that the Army’s idea of a “fit” soldier is one who is made of lean muscle mass, not a body builder type. 2) that the tape test is supposed to be designed for the “odd” body types such as pear shaped females with wide hips and flat bottoms or body builder types or guys like myself. This creates the problems of which I have been reading on this forum. It is my observation that the people who are doing the taping are not made aware of these “insights” and therefore are unjustly misleading 1) the taped soldier, 2) the Army. I had to correct my recruiter the first time I got taped at the office 2 weeks ago because when he taped my abdomen he specifically included my love handles which according to the new Army regs are only to be included if they fall with in a straight line with my belly button. Basically the person taping you needs to have a little common sense instead of just punching in numbers into a computer and having it tell them your body fat percentage. Personally, I believe that the APFT should be the standard and the tape test should only be used should you fail the APFT. According to the goarmy.com website, the APFT is the standard by which the army determines by age whether or not you are considered “fit for combat.” Just my opinion.

March 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm
(41) National Guard Girl says:

I’m joining the National Guard. I’m a female and weigh 188 lbs. But my body fat is 28%. Will I still pass the physical?

September 17, 2010 at 2:35 am
(42) J. says:

i think the problem is that our PT test are to easy.
they are a joke and that is why almost everyone passes.
im not trying to stir any emotional backlash from anyone on here, im just telling the truth.

July 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm
(43) SGT Rod says:

First let me indicate that I am a PT stud and have never been taped, I don’t know what my BF% would be. I am considered an excellent Soldier, but I don’t feel that I measure up. Why? I will not be able to carry you off the battlefield. I cannot ruck for more than a couple of miles. I have a back issues making carrying a M249 for a long time unbearable (and the IBA is painful.) I am a poor example to follow for nutrition (soda). I enjoy PT, but lately have put it off because I have work to do. I barely qualify with my rifle even though i get plenty of practice (I own an AR-15). My leadership style is frequently ridiculed. I learned my style in business and do not simply order people around. I am in a Fobbitt MOS and am out of practice at simple WTDs, and don’t know much about combat skills. I am also out of practice with my own MOS since I was tasked with other jobs. I am in the miltary because it’s a paying job that allows me to squander money into investments based upon other peoples’ misery (foreclosures).
Then there is this vastly superior Soldier, now a former Soldier that I know.Even overweight, he scored high on his PT test and was more dedicated to doing PT and proper eating than I. He could easily carry a fellow Soldier off the battlefield or shoulder a 65lb ruck and keep going. The M249 was nothing for him. He shot a 36/40 without trying. He had no problems giving Soldiers orders and was frequently made SPCIC on tasks. He loves combat knowledge and was more skilled at it than some of our senior NCOs. They would task him to teach these skills. People would specifically ask for him on the help desk (his MOS). He was in the army out of a sense of duty and enjoyment.
Am I biased because he is my Husband? Probably, but the only reason that I am in and he is out is because the APFT and 600-9 have become the only standard for determining the value of a Soldier.

April 13, 2012 at 1:27 am
(44) po1 says:

Folks, the reason wny the tape measure is used in BCA has nothing to do with standards. While the Navy has always used this method since I joined 15 years ago, my understanding is that this is new to the army. The answer is $$. The military is on a cost-cutting program right now, and we all know why. Whether or not the service-member is fit to do the job is irrelevant. This has to do with saving money, and the military being forced to do the same job w/ less manpower. There is absolutely no one with any medical credentials whatsoever with whom I’ve spoken that has supported this method as accurate. If someone can pass the physical fitness test, that should be all that matters. I don’t know many grossly obese people that could pass this, but really all you need is an abnormally small neck for your size, and you’re screwed. While many well-qualified individuals who do their jobs, show up on time, and give 110% are getting the boot b/c of a tape, there are many of those who are within standards that underperform. Why should someone who does their job get the same eval as someone who got a DUI, or went UA (Navyspeak for AWOL)? It makes no sense. Right now I’m just biding my time until I retire. I love serving my country; but, man, the stuff our military brass does just makes no sense sometimes.

September 29, 2012 at 12:40 am
(45) Dexter says:

Good Comments from so many. I have to join in on the side of “BMI is wasting talent, time and money.” The apft,if it is truly an effective yardstick of measurement for ones physical fitness, then that is all that is needed to determine you physical ability to perform your duties. If it isn’t, then it needs to be modified to give a “more accurate assessment” of ones ability to do your job in combat or peacetime.

If you can’t pass a rigorous apft, then and only then a weight control type of program should be administered as well as a “weight training or fitness program”

As a combat vet, I don’t care how much you weigh, whether you are gay or straight, Republican or Democrat or something else. All I care about is can you shoot to kill, watch your buddies back, and follow orders to the best of your ability in order to accomplish the mission?

We didn’t run around taping soldiers in Falujah to see if they were fit to fight. You were fit if you stayed alive. We didn’t run two miles or do push ups or situps doing our jobs: We humped ammo, the wounded, and sprinted across streets peppered with enemy small arms fire.

BMI has nothing to do with winning a war or staying alive. I salute anyone who has chosen to serve. We are wasting good talent with loyal hearts willing to sacrifice to protect our nation when we “chapter out” soldiers who have proven they can fight and win.

Our leaders at the Pentagon have created this hostile environment (a.k.a. “fatboy program etc…”) which is actually causing us to question the dependability of each other when we need everyone to pull their weight defending our country.

That is all I have to say about that.

November 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm
(46) Was MSG Now 2LT now 1LT can't make CPT says:

I have now been in the Army going on 30 years. I posted in June 2009 as “Was MSG now 2LT” regarding an experience I had with inconsistent tapings being administered by different people. Well now it’s dejavu… I received my orders promoting me to CPT but they are going to be revoked because I was “not in promotable status” on the date of the promotion due to my being on the AWCP.

I was put on the AWCP in April of this year. It is now November and I am down 9 lbs but having been taped 5x by 4 different people since that time, I am still stuck at 39% body fat. Can somoene please explain to me how I can lose 9 lbs and drop a pant size and still be at the same 39%?

I took my PT test today. I maxed the situps (72 reps… I am 46 years old) and passed my 2.5 mile walk with 3.5 minutes to spare (I have a permanent profile against pushups). I taped a 38% (allowed 36%) so they suggested I spend some time in a sauna. I spent 55 of the next 90 minutes in a sauna and was taped again later in the day. I lost a pound of weight and a half inch in my hips. I also magically lost 1/2 inch in height and ended up going UP a percentage to 39%.

While I am in agreement that there must be a standard, the standard needs to be one that is measured objectively and does not create a moving target for the soldier. One’s career should not hinge on a subjective test that creates inconsistent results. As far as I am concerned, the current method is tantamount to moving the mile marker out between PT tests and then expecting soldiers to accept the increased distance and resulting failures despite clear improvements in performance.

1LT “(P)” (for the time-being).

January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm
(47) The Jag says:


page 7 of 41. Says no other test is authorized, until they pull thier heads out of thier arse’s its pointless. I have seen many cases like this, in one case we had a guy with a 6 pack (literally) and busted tape. He had beastly legs and large torso and a toothpick neck (yes I made fun of him, go army). He was a +300 apft, prior service Marine, strick diet, etc. Thankfully the Cdr wasnt a yes man and refused to enroll him in the AWCP …. now its called ABCP

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