- Enlisting in the military
- There are strict rules when it comes to enlisting in the United States military. Not everyone will qualify due to the nature of the job. You must first meet a multitude of requirements.
- These pertain to your age, height and weight, physical ability, and medical history. Your education and finances could affect your enrolment also. You could be denied if you have a history of drug use, a criminal record, or even poor credit.
- In the past decade the chief reason recruits couldn’t sign up for service was because of the height and weight standards. All applicants have to be under a certain body fat percentage to be considered for service. To find their body composition , all recruits are measured using a charting method. With the army body fat calculator, you can estimate where you stand.
- Please continue reading for more detailed information about what it takes to enlist. You can also find a guide on how to interpret your results below.
- Why does the military set these limitations?
- The US Department of Defense has height and weight requirements for many reasons. One of the mains reasons is that they only have standard sizes of uniforms and equipment for all personnel. It would be too costly to offer custom sizing. This also pertains to the measurements inside the cockpits of airplanes, shipboards, and tanks. Very tall recruits won’t be able to operate these vehicles.
- Beyond that, recruits also must be able to handle the physical demands of military service. It’s likely that you will carry heavy equipment for long periods of time, under sub-optimal conditions, during in your service. To achieve optimal athletic performance, all personnel should maintain a healthy body composition as obesity has proven to be detrimental to a person’s health and physical abilities .
- How is body fat measured?
- There are various ways to estimate a person’s body fat. Height and weight are the basic building blocks of body mass index . But sometimes, when someone is very muscular their reading could be wrong and they could even be deemed overweight.
- A more accurate method for measuring body fat , which is used by the military, is done using a tape measure. You just chart the area around your neck, abdomen, and hips. Then input those values in a specific log-based formula to figure out your percentage. This method is accurate within 1-2% of your actual body composition.
- What are the army body fat standards?
- Please see the table below for the standards to be accepted. You can also see the height limits unique to each branch of military service.
Standards by branch of service Army Age 17-20 21-27 28-39 40+: Body fat 24% 26% 28% 30% Height 5’0 – 6’6 (60-80 inches) 5’0 – 6’6 (60-80 inches) 5’0 – 6’6 (60-80 inches) 5’0 – 6’6 (60-80 inches) Air Force Age 12-29 30-39 Body fat 20% 24% Height 4’8 – 6’6 (58-80 inches) 4’8 – 6’6 (58-80 inches) Marine Corps Age 17-28 Body fat 18% Height 4’8 – 6’5 (58-78 inches) Navy Age 17-34 Body fat 23% Height 4’7 – 6’6 (57-80 inches)
- How to use the calculator
- The army body fat calculator is very easy to use. It requires you to check the chart above to determine if you qualify for the army. The calculator has two parts: an information intake and integrated results. It needs precise measurements of your neck and abdomen for accurate readings.
- Step 1 : On the first line of the calculator, please add your current age in years. You can use the up or down arrows to make this input easier.
- Step 2 : Select your gender on the second line of the calculator.
- Step 3 : You should add your height to the third line of the calculator. Use feet and inches here.
: Include your
abdomen measurements on the fourth and fifth lines of the calculator. Use feet and inches again here. Using inches alone may prevent the results from computing.
- Step 5 : Hit “ Calculate ” to get your army body fat result. Then, reference your reading with the table above.
- How to interpret your results
- Once you have added your measurements, your results will appear beside the inputs.
- Here you may see your exact body fat percentage according to the circumference chart method. This is the only method used by the US Department of Defense. Using this example, we have a 26-year-old male that is 5’8″ with a body fat of 22.13%. You have to check the chart above to see where he would qualify. He would be welcomed in the army and the navy. But he would be denied from the Marine Corps or Air Force.
- Once you have determined your body fat, see if you meet the rest of the requirements below.
- Other enrolment qualifications
- The following rules are very strict, but exceptions can sometimes be granted. There are times where certain ranks need to be filled by the military. These will be jobs in law, medicine, or dentistry. For all other recruits, here is a look at some of the points to enlist:
- Age: minimum 17 with parental consent and 18 without. Maximum age varies by branch of the military and can be found in the tables.
- Citizenship: to enlist you must be a US citizen or be a permanent resident with a green card.
- Credit and finances: Unpaid loans that are very overdue could prevent enrolment. A history of faulty credit could affect your security clearance. This could make many military jobs off limits to you. Having debt issues could make you susceptible to bribes.
- Dependents: single parents are not eligible unless they relinquish custody of their child. The navy, marines, and army all have different waivers on spouses and dependents.
- Education: must have high school diploma or something equivalent. Officers must have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university program with high grades to be considered.
- Drug and alcohol use: recruits with a history of drug use or alcohol dependency are ruled out. Waivers may be granted in rare cases, but many sensitive military jobs would be off limits.
- Criminal History: Adult felony convicts and juvenile felony convicts are not permitted. Sex offenders and domestic violence convicts are not allowed either. There are some situations where other criminal charge waivers may be granted.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions may result in denial. Contagious diseases and are not permitted. Any medical or physical defects that could result in hospitalization are not acceptable either. Applicants need to be capable of completing the required training. They also need to be able to adapt to the military environment. Recruits should be able to perform duties without aggravation of conditions or defects.
- Enlisting in the armed forces is demanding. You could be responsible for protecting many civilian lives. For this reason, qualifications are stringent. Only the best are allowed into military service.
- Please remember to bookmark the army body fat calculator and save it to the home screen of your smartphone. You can return for new calculations as your fitness changes . If you found this page useful, you can promote us on social media using the share feature. This way you can help others determine if military service is right for them.