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Army Body Fat Calculator

Created by Małgorzata Koperska, MD and Julia Żuławińska
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Department of the Army The Army Body Composition Program: Army Regulation 600–9;; July 2019See 1 more source
Department of the Army Standards of Medical Fitness: Army Regulation 40–501;; June 2019
Last updated: May 03, 2024

There are a few ways of determining the fat content of a person's body, and among them there is a method developed by US Army that calculates body fat with good precision. This parameter is estimated for all service members of the US Army since they are required to meet the army percentage body fat (%BF) standards as a condition of military service.

Calculate your body fat and scroll down to check if you could join the army. The US Army body fat calculator uses a different formula to the method provided in our US Navy body fat calculator and body fat calculator, so you may also want to check them out.

What are the necessary measurements?

According to the US Army Regulation 600-9, the tape should be made of a non-stretchable material, preferably fiberglass. All circumference measurements should be taken horizontally:

  1. Height - make sure you don't wear shoes and stand up straight.
  2. Neck - measure its circumference below the larynx (Adam's apple).
  3. Waist - measure it at the navel level for men, and around the narrowest part of the abdomen for women.
  4. Hips - this measurement is needed for females only and should be taken at the widest part of the buttocks or hip.

You can input the values in both metric and imperial units. Having taken these measurements, you can use them to find your body shape.

What formula does the American Army body fat calculator use?

The equation is described in the Army Regulation 600-9 - The Army Body Composition Program.

It looks like this for men:

%BF = (86.010 * log10( waist – neck ) ) – [70.041 * log10(height)) + 36.76

And like this for women:

%BF = (163.205 * log10( waist + hip – neck ) ) – (97.684 * log10(height)) – 78.387

Please note that the formulas presented above are designed to work for values in imperial units.

The US Army body fat percentage standards

The US Army body fat percentage standards for military service personnel on active duty are described in Regulation 600-9:

  • Age 17 to 20 - 20% for males, 30% for females;
  • Age 21 to 27 - 22% for males, 32% for females;
  • Age 28 to 39 - 24% for males, 34% for females;
  • Age over 40 - 26% for males, 36% for females.

The US Army body fat percentage standards for military service candidates are described in Regulation 40-501:

  • Age 17 to 20 - 24% for males, 30% for females;
  • Age 21 to 27 - 26% for males, 32% for females;
  • Age 28 to 39 - 28% for males, 34% for females;
  • Age over 40 - 30% for males, 36% for females.

Remember that you can simply use our American Army body fat calculator to find out if you meet the Army body fat percentage standards.


How much body fat is allowed in the army?

Body fat allowed by the army ranges between 24% and 30% for men, depending on the age group. For women it ranges between 30% and 36%, and is always 2 percentage points more than for men.

How does the army calculate body fat percentage?

To assess your body fat percentage, army officers will:

  1. Use a tape to take three (and for women, four) measurements of your body: height, neck circumference, waist (and for women, hips).
  2. Apply the body fat formula to convert these measurements into body fat percentage.

For more details on the formula or to assess your body fat for the army, check out Omni's Army Body Fat Calculator.

What is the maximum body fat percentage for the army?

The maximum body fat percentage allowed by the army depends on your sex and age. The maximum allowed is 36% for women over 40 years of age, but only 24% for men under 20.

What is the army body fat of a 6 feet male?

The army's body fat percentage depends not only on height, but also on your waist and neck circumference. Assuming that waist = 36 inch and neck = 16 inch, then %BF = 18.6%. This is an acceptable body fat percentage for every age category!

Małgorzata Koperska, MD and Julia Żuławińska
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