Military Height and Weight Standards

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Military Height Standards

First and foremost, Jack Smith the owner and creator of Gaining Greatness LLC. which owns Unorthodox Training is a U.S. military veteran. Having spent a great amount of time in the military and military communities it is important to provide health and fitness information for people in the military or who are considering joining the military. That is why this page is being created as a reference source.

Candidates are only accepted into the military if they fall within a specified range of heights. In part, this is because military clothes and equipment aren’t custom-made for those outside of the conventional ranges. In addition, occupations aboard ships, tanks, and airplanes can be problematic if someone is too tall. Military height and weight regulations are put in place for a variety of reasons.

Male applicants for the Armed Forces who are shorter than 60 inches or taller than 80 inches will be rejected (unless a waiver or special permission of some sort is granted). A female’s height of less than 58 inches or greater than 80 inches is a factor in her rejection from the Armed Forces (unless special permission or waiver is granted for entry). The Marines have a stricter policy for joining their branch of service. Male applicants to the Marines must be between 58 and 78 inches tall. Female applicants must meet a height requirement of 58 to 72 inches.

Military Weight Standards

Height and weight requirements are specified for the various services. Even if you don’t meet the height/weight requirements, but meet the body fat requirements, you can still serve your country. The height and weight requirements do not take into account someone with a large amount of muscular mass on their body. For people with above-average amounts of muscle mass even with only a small amount of body fat, it’s difficult to achieve the height/weight requirements. As long as the person has more lean muscle than fat, he or she can exceed the military’s limit weight for his or her height.

Measurements of body fat around the neck and belly button are taken using a series of tape measures. To expedite the process, if a person meets the minimum requirements for height and weight, they automatically pass the test and do not need to have their body fat percentage measured. The services employ weight charts as an initial screening because it requires more time and effort to quantify body fat. There are no exceptions for going beyond the recommended levels of body fat.

Air Force Height/Weight ChartMale/Female
Army Height/Weight ChartMale / Female
Navy Height/Weight ChartMale / Female
Marine Corps Height/Weight Chart Male / Female
Coast Guard Height/Weight ChartMale / Female

Military Body Fat Standards

Candidates who weigh more than the weight ranges shown above will have their body fat percentage assessed. Body fat can be measured using a circumference/chart approach, which is normally within a 3-5 percent range of accuracy, for members who do not meet the height-weight parameters. The following are the body-fat criteria for each service:

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%

The Marines have adopted some different program adjustments as of January 2017. 

  • Marines who score 285 or higher on BOTH the PFT and CFT are exempt from height/weight standards.
  • Marines who score 250 or higher on BOTH the PFT and CFT are given an additional 1 percent body fat.
  • Another note – The USMC also increased the standards on the PFT and made achieving a 250-285 more difficult. Now the maximum score of 300 starts with 23 pullups (previously 20) 115 crunches (previously 100) and a 3 mile run of 18 minutes. The 3 mile timed run stayed the same.

Coast Guard: (Accession Standards)

AgePercent Body Fat (Men)Percent Body Fat (Women)
Less than 30 years old22%32%
Less than 40 years old24%34%
Age 40 or greater26%36%

Inside of the Unorthodox Training Membership program, there is a section dedicated to military fitness. The content is geared towards helping military service members meet their height and weight requirements as well as helping them improve their physical fitness and their physical fitness test scores. The content to create this page has been updated using the various military branch regulations.

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