Body fat assessment exempted for Soldiers who score at least 540 points on Army Combat Fitness Test

| March 18, 2023

The Army released a new directive that exempts Soldiers, who score at least 540 points, from the body fat assessment. The Soldier has to score a minimum of 80 points per event. If they do not take and pass another test by eight months (active duty) and 14 months (reserve), the exempted Soldiers would be subject to body fat assessments.

From the Army:

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth approved the change at the request of Grinston, following preliminary findings of the Army Comprehensive Body Composition Study, which was initiated by Army senior leaders in 2021.

The study looked at the relationship between body fat and fitness levels, with the understanding that results could inform changes to the Army Body Composition Program. It was the largest and most comprehensive assessment of Soldier body composition and fitness to date.

The study found that Soldiers with a high volume of lean muscle mass were still at risk of failing the body fat assessment as prescribed in Army Regulation 600-9. To avoid erroneously flagging those Soldiers, one recommendation of the study was to exempt those who scored exceptionally high on the ACFT. Army senior leaders approved the exemption for Soldiers scoring 540 points, with a minimum of 80 in each event.

The study concluded that factors such as sex, age and ethnicity did not affect the association between body fat and ACFT scores. The policy applies to all professional military education schools, and to all accessions and retention actions.

Grinston said further policy changes are still under consideration and will require further validation before final approval. However, the overall focus of the program remains unchanged – having an effective, accurate assessment of the holistic health and fitness of our force, while providing Soldiers with the resources they need to improve and preserve individual and unit readiness.

The Army’s website has additional details.

Category: Army, Army News

9 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Prior Service

This is a good idea. The big boys will be a bit challenged to get 80 on the run and I think overall there will be few that hit 540 and all 80. The older crowd, who are less…active…and more likely to be taped will especially not make it. (For instance I scored a 551 on my last ACFT, at 55 years old, and was the highest in my directorate by score (age) and raw score by a big margin.) Something to aspire to, and it just makes sense, which the army is not always accused of.

KoB

Yep…sometimes it’s more better to be a small framed, wiry little phuquer. At one of my DOT Physicals, the doc had done the weight and height thing and said my BMI was high, going by those #s. When I got stripped down to my boxer britches and he saw that there was no fat jiggling, only lean muscle he changed his mind. Some of the big guys struggled to stay below the maximum of 275lbs for aerial lift platforms. And they’d get winded a whole lot quicker than I would.

Graybeard

A move in the right direction, IMHO.
The BMI evaluation is witchdoctor stuff, a simplistic look at a complex subject that needs some experience and what is often called “common sense.”
That the National Institute of Health promotes that nonsense should have been a forewarning of the blind insanity of the government-sponsored quasi-medical community before Fauci exposed it.

Had my cardiologist flag me on the paperwork (not verbally) as “overweight.”
Brought it up to my PCP (of 30 years) and he just shook his head.

Roh-Dog

About fucking time.

Warrior Leaders Course after a PT test day 1.

I had planned to try for honor grad or at least top 10%, because why not? It’s what NCOs do.

Got on the edge of tape after them taping me over, which was ass. Second time ‘go’….

Now I’ve always had a problem thanks to a thick mid section and thin neck. When I say I was on the edge, I mean on-the-edge.

The turds give me a fucking counseling statement for “being just under”, there by blowing my chances for a good report card.

Fuck’m. Spent the rest of WLC smoking cigarettes and fucking off. Got another counseling for ‘not having spit polished boots during an inspection’. (Mind you at the time brown boots with BDUs was authorized and ACUs in my size were not available.) So I polished my M4 buttstock with a mirror shine, I mean mirror.

The SFC-in-name-only was pissed.

I digress. My PT test score for WLC? 299. Messed up pace for the sit ups, oops. And with no ‘extended scoring’ anything more than 100 per event was dumb. At the time I was running 5:45-6 minute miles so that 100 was in the bag. Anything slower than that it kinda hurt until the speed got down to 9min/miles.

I could ruck, fuck, fight, and run forever. Best shape of my life.

The tape test is bullshit and bullshit ‘leaders’ used it to be power hungry fucks just because they can.

Grunt

One of my hills I routinely stormed was the “you failed height/weight because you need to be taped” bullshit.

And this wasn’t for me. I’m of the low-height, low-weight variety. But I wasn’t about to see my joes get fucked out of schools, promotion, etc, by some jackass SNCO who was gonna flag people for needing to be taped.

That counseling statement was bullshit, btw. Public Service Announcement from a former TRADOC puke…shit like that is a direct appeal to the schoolhouse commandant. If they like getting their ATRRS slots for the FY (aka, their money for existence), they’ll act right.

Roh-Dog

shit like that is a direct appeal to the schoolhouse commandant

Normally you’d be right but this ‘house was pog heavy. Even the Infantry-type Small Group Leader (another name for instructor) said it was bullshit.

Some complained and the Commandant gathered up the whole class to give a hand job speech about ‘the professionalism of his NCOs’.

Notice this was after all the class had gone thru PT test and tape, with the aforementioned SFC-in-name-only was gloating about ‘loosening their burden by “sending folks home”‘ and “Y’all Infantry dudes ain’t that fit”.

That same senior “NCO”, when she did show up for PT, fell out of every.single.run.

I don’t mind being subjected to rules, but they have to logical, reasoned, evenly applied, and devoid of even the fucking hint of bias, or fuck you, I ain’t playing.

Commissar

The test is tough compared to the old fitness test. And body fat tape measurements are notoriously inaccurate when assessing body builders and some athletic body types.

Since the purpose of body fat limits is to make sure a soldier is fit to fight, it makes sense that the fitness test is the primary determining factor and not a tape test.

Last edited 11 months ago by Commissar
A Proud Infidel®™

Yeah, I’ve seen 130-pound “PT Gazelles” who would do 300+ on the old PT Test who could barely finish a ruck march while a bodybuilder who always passed the PT Tests who could also ruck like there was no tomorrow as well as topple a Deuce and a half truck by himself be considered “overweight”, thus if one aces the new test that ought to make them look harder at things.

E-4 Mafia 4 Life

I have a very foggy idea of what the current PT test is, etc.
I was in from 1987 – 1991. There were only 3 tests: pushups, sit-ups and 2 mile run.
I maxed the PT test and then some. Like the score stopped after 300?
I earned the US Physical Fitness patch I think it was called?
Ran 5:30 minute miles, 120+ pushups in 2 minutes and maybe 100 situps in 2 minutes.
Never had a BMI measure/whatever. I was 6’0, 155 lbs, maybe 3% body fat. Complete toothpick. And they still stuck me with the M-60 everywhere.
I do recall a few mechanics being monsters and having their BDU tops altered because of arm size.
Never came across any fat bodies. I was in an infantry and Cavalry unit. Both were PT extreme.