Skip the tape measure test for soldiers with high fitness scores, Grinston says
Stars and Stripes October 13, 2022
Troops who score high on the Army’s fitness test could soon be exempt from the tape measure test for height and weight balance, the service’s top enlisted soldier said this week.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston is proposing that soldiers who achieve a 540 or higher on the Army Combat Fitness Test won’t be measured against the service’s height and weight standards. A perfect score on the fitness test is 600.
“If you score high on the AFCT, you should be good,” Grinston told soldiers Wednesday during the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2022 annual conference in Washington.
Grinston said he doesn’t envision changes to the Army’s height and weight body composition standards, which have been studied by the service.
“The data shows the height and weight tables are correct,” he said.
Measuring body composition is relevant because people with excess body fat are at higher risk for injury, Grinston said.
Some critics of the body composition test argue that it is not an accurate assessment of fitness and doesn’t take into account all body types.
According to the Army’s height and weight table, a 6-foot, 2-inch male between 28 and 29 years of age can weigh no more than 218 pounds. A 5-foot, 5-inch woman of the same age range can weigh no more than 154 pounds.
If a soldier’s weight exceeds the standards, parts of the body such as the waistline are measured for excess flab and proper body composition.