Are You “Fit” for the Military?
You’ve probably heard some of the popular army recruiting slogans like “army strong” and “army of one” and “be all you can be.” Knowing these, is it really any wonder that the army (and the military in general) has very specific physical qualifications that members have to meet? Each branch has differing regulations, but for almost all of them, there are standards for height, age, weight, and percentage of body fat. Find out which standards apply to you and how to meet them!
It’s pretty easy to see where you fall. Body fat can be calculated with a few different methods, but the easiest one to do at home is measuring the important body parts and just plugging in the numbers.
Calculate Your Body Fat
Men should measure the waist, neck, and height. For women, hips have to be added to that list. When these measurements are taken, you can stick them all into a mathematical formula that . . . to be honest, looks a little intimidating. Luckily, there are plenty of calculators online that will do all the math for you. You just plug in the numbers and the body fat percentage is calculated for you.
Once you know this number, you can see if you fall in the acceptable range for the army. (Note that there are different requirements for men versus women because women have a higher percentage of essential body fat.)
Below you can see the maximum percentage of body fat for entry into the army as it corresponds with a person’s age.
Men’s Acceptable Percentages
17 – 20 years: 26
21 – 27 years: 26
28 – 39 years: 28
40 and older: 30
Women’s Acceptable Percentages
17 – 20 years: 32
21 – 27 years: 32
28 – 39 years: 34
40 and older: 36
After a new recruit joins, these requirements do change for them. They become a little stricter, but it becomes a lot easier to meet these percentages when going through intense physical training. Even so, these requirements are not unrealistic or overly demanding. In fact, these numbers are not that far under the obesity threshold.
Anyone who meets the initial qualifications for entry into the army but then fails the additional physical checks may be required to go through a weight loss program and may be subjected to further measures. The penalties for noncompliance can be quite strict.
Many people set on joining the army might not fit into these requirements. This shouldn’t be a big worry. Thousands of people struggle with their weight, and there are solutions. Of course, the first and most effective step is to get up and be active. Without turning this this into some kind of fitness how-to, just know that organizing a regular fitness routine really can help a lot in shredding that body fat to get army ready. The complement to this plan is eating a proper diet. It doesn’t take a dietitian to know that eating the proper diet for your body type can be one of the best decisions you make for your health.
Start Building that Military Muscle!
One way or another, get that body into good, healthy, physical shape. Something you can look forward to with being in the army is knowing you are always in top physical condition. But remember, that’s not something you have to be in the enlist military to do! Find out if you fall within military health standards, and create a healthy fitness plan to help you achieve or maintain that goal. If you dream of serving this country, start preparing now by taking care of your body today.