Although there is a weight waiver provided that allows overweight people to enlist and lose weight while in basic training, the height requirement remains unchanged.
The weight waiver allowance came into existence in 2009, but this doesn’t mean all overweight individuals who meet height requirements are considered.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, one in four recruits to the military is disqualified due to weight-related issues.
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Jump To An Army Height And Weight Chart
How Are Weight and Height Measurements Taken?
Army personnel takes official weight and height measurement to determine applicants’ physical condition.
This is part of the physical exam of the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) every applicant must follow and pass before being sworn in as a recruit.
Related Article – Army MOS List: A List Of All 159 Army Jobs
Both height and weight measurements are rounded up or down to the nearest whole digit.
The rounding off depends on whether it is more or less than .5lb or inch. For instance, if your weight is 119.6lbs, the official weight that will be noted down will be 120lbs.
If your weight exceeds the maximum limit provided for by the U.S. Army, then the MEPS officials may opt to carry out body fat percentage tests before giving you the go-ahead to be a recruit.
The U.S military has a specific height range that all recruits fall in.
They have a strict height range because the military doesn’t have a flexible budget or time to tailor-make customized uniforms and equipment for officers outside the set height ranges.
Besides, the tanks, shipboard, and airplane jobs will be difficult if someone exceeds the set height standards.
The ideal height range for male applicants to the Armed Forces is between 60 inches and 80 inches.
Therefore, if you fall outside this range, you will be rejected.
For Armed Forces female applicants, the cause for rejection to the U.S. military is height less than 58 inches and more than 80 inches.
However, Marines, have more restrictive height standards with make applicants having a range of between 58 inches and 78 inches while female applicants should fall between 58 inches and 72 inches.
The minimum age for joining the US military is 17 years, although this calls for parental consent.
This means that there is still room for growth.
However, as long as you passed the physical exam of MEPS, you cannot be disqualified if you attain a height exceeding the set standards. It should be noted that you may be disqualified for certain MOS ratings if there are height restrictions.
The most notable case of a military member is that of David Robinson, a renowned basketball player.
He started his military career within the official height standards but went on to add more than six inches in his first four years at the Naval Academy.
At the time of joining the military, he was 6’7,” but in four years, he had grown to 7’1″. This means he had exceeded the 80 inches height standards. Rather than receiving an honorable discharge, he was allowed to see off his contract.
He played professional basketball but continued serving active duty. He later served in Naval Reserves doing recruitment and promotion campaigns for the Navy.
This follows a standard chart that takes gender, age groups, and height into account to determine the maximum and minimum weight limits.
Recruits have a higher weight limit than those already serving in the military.
For instance, a recruit who is between 17 and 20 years, with a height of 60 inches, should not exceed 120lbs. for females and 139lbs for males.
However, if you are in the military, your maximum weight limit is 116lbs for females and 132lbs for males.
If you exceed the maximum weight limit for your height, gender, and age group, you may be granted a weight waiver as long as you are under the maximum body fat percentage for your age and gender.
With that in mind, let’s show you the height and weight requirements for joining the U.S. Army.
Here are a couple of charts showing the set standards for height and weight for men and women:
Army Height And Weight Standards For Men
|Height (In Inches)||Minimum Weight||Age 17 – 20 Max Weight (in lbs.)||Age 21 – 27 Max Weight (in lbs.)||Age 28 – 39 Max. Weight (in lbs.)||Age 40+ Max Weight (in lbs.)|
Army Height And Weight Standards For Women
|Height (in inches)||Minimum Weight (in lbs.)||Age 17 – 20 Max. Weight (in lbs.)||Age 21 – 27 Max. Weight (in lbs.)||Age 28 – 39 Max. Weight (in lbs.)||Age 40+ Max Weight (in lbs.)|
The Need to Stay Fit In the Army
Keeping within the weights and height standards of the army is a must for both active duty and reserve soldiers.
More often, the physical activities of the Army ensure their weight and body fat composition stays within limits. However, they have to get into a regular physical fitness routine for those assigned desk duties to keep their bodies fit.
The army does not condone overweight individuals and soldiers with poor body composition for prolonged periods since this may lead to a decreased individual performance thereby disrupting their respective units.
That’s why everyone must be physically fit and have a low body fat composition.
Let’s Talk Haircuts. Joining the ARMY will most likely mean getting that buzzcut that you consistently see among people in the military. Be prepared to chop those locks of hair if you’re planning on joining. This hairstyle of choice has practical reasons behind it such as it being low maintenance, does not impair your vision in possible moments of necessity, and looks very clean and uniformed among your peers. There’s no need to get your hair cut before training starts as this will be one of the first things that are performed when you enter basic training. For some people that suffer from conditions such as male pattern balding and alopecia, many recruits have chosen to get a cosmetic procedure called Scalp Micropigmentation which allows you to sport a full head of hair even though you might be balding to give you that extra self-esteem boost.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]