Military Body Composition

Military Body Composition Standards

Military body composition requirements

Excellent Physical Health

To become a service member in the armed forces, you must be in excellent physical health.  That expectation remains even after you enlist or are commissioned as an officer. If you fail to maintain weight standards, it may result in separation.

Physical Standard

Body composition is a physical standard which includes your body fat percentage.  If your body fat composition is too low (i.e. – you are too thin) this may impact your ability to serve just as if your body fat composition is too high.

DOD 1308.3

Department of Defense Instruction 1308.3 approves the methods of determining body fat composition for being retained in the military.  These methods are known as Body Composition Assessment (BCA) standards. There are two methods approved to measure BCA:  1) maximum weight for height and 2) circumference measurements.

Independent Requirements

Even though all services use the DoD approved methods for determining BCA, each service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) has independent requirements regarding composition standards.  If you exceed the body composition for your service, you will be enrolled in a program designed to assist you with returning to the acceptable range.  If you fail this remedial program, you will be discharged unless a waiver is granted.  The armed forces takes body fat composition as physical fitness standard essential for a deployable military.

 

Navy

Body composition measurements are performed according to the instructions contained in OPNAV Instruction 6110.1J – PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM.  In 2016, the Navy revised body fat composition standards.  The maximum allowable body fat percentage for a Sailor is organized below by age and gender.

Male:

  • 18 – 21:  22 %
  • 22 – 29:  23 %
  • 30 – 39:  24 %
  • Over 40:  26 %

Female:

  • 18 – 21:  33 %
  • 22 – 29:  34 %
  • 30 – 39:  35 %
  • Over 40:  36 %

 

Marine Corps

Marine Corps Order (MCO) 6110.3A governs body composition in the Marine Corps. The maximum allowable body fat percentage for Marines is organized below by age and gender.

Male:

  • 17 – 20:  18%
  • 21 – 25:  18%
  • 26 – 30:  19%
  • 31 – 35:  19%
  • 36 – 40:  20%
  • 41 – 45:  20%
  • 46 – 50:  21%
  • Over 51:  21%

Female:

  • 17 – 20:  26%
  • 21 – 25:  26%
  • 26 – 30:  27%
  • 31 – 35:  27%
  • 36 – 40:  28%
  • 41 – 45:  28%
  • 46 – 50:  29%
  • Over 51:  29%

 

Army

Army Regulation 60-900 governs body fat percentages for the Army. The maximum allowable body fat percentage for a Soldier is organized below by age and gender.

Male:

  • 17-20:  20%
  • 21-27:  22%
  • 28-39:  24%
  • Over 40:  26%

Female:

  • 17-20:  30%
  • 21-27:  32%
  • 28-39:  34%
  • Over 40:  36%

 

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Manual for weight and body fat composition standards is COMDTINST M1020.8H.  In 2015, the Coast Guard altered body fat composition guidelines. The maximum allowable body fat percentage for a Coast Guard service member is organized below by age and gender.

Male:

  • Under 30:  22%
  • Under 40:  24%
  • Over 40:  26%

Female:

  • Under 30:  32%
  • Under 40:  34%
  • Over 40:  36%