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U.S. Military Enlistment Standards


    (b) If it is discovered that an applicant or a member of the Delayed Entry Program has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act and the information is received by a credible source, including, but not limited to, police records check or National Agency Check, the applicant will be denied enlistment. If the circumstances meet (a) above or (c) below of this paragraph, then the procedures below will be followed to determine eligibility.

    (c) If the act was a departure from the applicant's customary behavior, and the act is unlikely to recur because it was the result of immaturity, intoxication, or coercion, that the behavior was not accomplished by force, coercion or intimidation, then the applicant may be processed for enlistment in the same manner as (a) above in that a written explanation may be submitted to the approving authority who will rule on the conditions under which the act was committed and determine propensity to further engage in such acts.

(2) An applicant may submit a rebuttal to the presumption that he or she will engage in homosexual acts by presenting written evidence other material the applicant believes relevant. The applicant is responsible to provide his or her recruiter such documents/evidence. The recruiter will submit applicable documents to the Recruiting Commander concerned for final determination.

Mental Aptitude

The primary method of determining if someone has the mental aptitude required to be an enlisted member of the United States Military is the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude. Test (ASVAB). The overall test score determines whether or not you are qualified to join the military, and individual composite scores derived from the ASVAB test determine what jobs you may qualify for. For more information about the ASVAB, see my feature article, ABCs of the ASVAB.

Height Standards

The cause for rejection for Armed Forces male applicants is height less than 60 inches or more than 80 inches. The cause for rejection for Armed Forces female applicants is height less than 58 inches or more than 80 inches. The Marines are more restrictive. For the Marines, height standards for male applicants range from 58 to 78 inches. Height standards for female applicants range from 58 to 72 inches.

Weight Standards

The services don't really have "weight standards." What they have are "body fat standards." However, it takes extra time and effort to measure body fat, so the services use weight charts to do an initial screening. Individuals who weigh more than the limits on the chart are measured to ensure they fall within the service's body-fat standards. There are no waivers for exceeding required body fat limits.

If the applicant exceeds the weight shown on the above charts, they are measured for body fat. Body-fat standards for each of the services are:

    Army: (Accession standards)
    Male 17-30 - 24%
    Male 21-27 - 26%
    Male 28-39 - 28%
    Male 40+ - 30%
    Female 17-30 - 30%
    Female 21-27 - 32%
    Female 28-39 - 34%
    Female 40 + - 36%

    Air Force: (Accession Standards)
    Male 17-29 - 20%
    Male 30 + - 24%
    Female 17-29 - 28%
    Female 30 + - 32%

    Navy: (Accession Standards)
    Male - 23%
    Female - 34%

    Marine Corps: (Accession and Regular Standards)
    Male - 18%
    Females - 26%

Medical Screening

The medical officials at MEPs do not work for any of the individual services. They work for DOD (MEPS). Their job is to use a set list of medical standards to determine whether or not one is medically qualified to perform military duties. Using these set standards, the MEPs medical officials either certify a candidate as medically qualified, or medically disqualified (there's no "in-betweens"). For a list of medical standards that DoD considers disqualifying, see our Enlistment/Accession Medical Standards Information Pages.

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