Military BMI Calculator

What formula does the military use to calculate BMI?

The approved method for calculating a soldier’s body fat percentage is the military tape test. It calculates body fat by comparing height to circumference measures taken around the hips, belly, and neck.

What are the necessary measurements?

The tape should be constructed of a non-stretchable material, preferably fiberglass, according to US Army Regulation 600-9. Ensure that all circumference measurements are taken horizontally:

Height – Make sure you’re not wearing shoes and that you’re standing up straight.
Neck – Measure the circumference of your neck below the larynx (Adam’s apple).
Waist – Men should measure their waist at the level of their navel, while women should measure around the narrowest region of their abdomen.
Hips – only females need this measurement, which should be taken at the broadest portion of the buttocks or hip.
The values can be entered in both metric and imperial units. You can use these measures to determine your body shape after you’ve taken them.

What formula is used by the American military body fat calculator?

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.

Body fat calculation

There are various techniques for calculating and estimating body fat, as mentioned in our body fat percentage and fat-free body mass calculators (mistaken with lean body mass). In this calculator, we use the United States Army technique, which is used by the Department of Defense to screen applicants for military service and to evaluate current employees.

To utilize this US Army body fat calculator, it is best to enlist the assistance of another individual to take your measurements so that they are as similar to the army procedure outlined in the Standards of Medical Fitness as feasible. Measure the neck circumference and waist circumference at their narrowest points (at Adam’s apple for the neck and at the belly button level for the waist), as well as the hip circumference at its widest. Depending on your preferences, you can use feet and inches or centimeters. You must also give your age, which must be rounded to the nearest entire year.

Do I pass the army body fat requirement?

The maximum permissible body fat percentage in order to enter the army is presented in table 2-1 and 2-2 of the U.S. Army Regulation 40–501 from 2019 (also valid in 2022), Standards of Medical Fitness (a.k.a. Army body fat standards 2022, a.k.a. Army body fat chart):

AgeMaleFemale
17-2024%30%
21-2726%32%
28-3928%34%
40 and over30%36%
Max. Allowable US Military Body Fat Percentage

The maximum permissible body fat percentage in order to remain a member of the army is stated in table B-2 of the United States Army Regulation 600-9 dated 2019 (in force in 2022), The Army Body Composition Program:

AgeMaleFemale
17-2020%30%
21-2722%32%
28-3924%34%
40 and over26%36%

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