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AR 600-9: The Army Body Composition Program (ABCP)

Photo by Staff Sgt. Kwadwo Frimpong / DVIDS

Photo by Staff Sgt. Kwadwo Frimpong / DVIDS

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1–1. Purpose

This regulation establishes policies and procedures for the implementation of the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP).

1–2. References

Required and related publications and prescribed and referenced forms are listed in appendix A.


1–3. Explanation of abbreviations and terms

Abbreviations and special terms used in this regulation are explained in the glossary.

1–4. Responsibilities

Responsibilities are listed in chapter 2.

1–5. Objectives

a. The primary objective of the ABCP is to ensure all Soldiers achieve and maintain optimal well-being and performance under all conditions.

b. Secondary objectives of the ABCP are to—

(1) Assist in establishing and maintaining—

(a) Operational readiness.
(b) Physical fitness.
(c) Health.
(d) A professional military appearance in accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 670–1.

(2) Establish body fat standards.

(3) Provide procedures by which personnel are counseled to assist in meeting the standards prescribed in this regulation.

Chapter 2: Responsibilities

2–1. General

Soldiers must maintain a high level of physical readiness in order to meet mission requirements. Body composition is one indicator of physical readiness that is associated with an individual’s fitness, endurance, and overall health. Individuals with desirable body fat percentages generally exhibit increased muscular strength and endurance, are less likely to sustain injury from weight bearing activity, and are more likely to perform at an optimal level. Soldiers will meet Army body composition standards, as prescribed in this regulation, for the individual and collective benefit to themselves, their unit, and the entire Army.

2–2. Deputy Chief of Staff, G–1

The DCS, G–1 is responsible for the ABCP.

2–3. The Surgeon General/

The Surgeon General will:

a. Establish medical examination and medical counseling policies in support of the ABCP.

b. Evaluate the medical aspects of the program.

c. Establish and review procedures for determination of body fat content.

d. Provide guidance on improving the nutritional status of Soldiers.

e. Provide recommendations and/or medical opinions on medical exception to policy requests to the Office of the DCS, G–1.

2–4. Deputy Chief of Staff, G–3/5/7

The DCS, G–3/5/7 will establish training guidance in support of the ABCP.

2–5. Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4

The DCS, G–4 will:

a. Establish food service guidance in support of the ABCP.

b. Publish guidance and information pertaining to the performance nutrition contribution of items served on master menus.

2–6. Chief, National Guard Bureau

The Chief, National Guard Bureau will:

a. Implement and monitor the ABCP in the Army National Guard (ARNG).

b. Take appropriate action under guidance prescribed in this regulation.

2–7. Chief, Army Reserve

The Chief, Army Reserve will:

a. Monitor the ABCP in the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR).

b. Take appropriate action under guidance prescribed in this regulation.

2–8. Commanding General, U.S. Forces Command

The CG, U.S. Army Forces Command will implement and monitor the ABCP in Active Component (AC) units and USAR to include troop program units, reinforcement training units, and continental United States individual mobilization augmentees.

2–9. Commanders of Army commands, Army service component commands, and direct reporting units

The commanders of ACOMs, ASCCs, and DRUs will ensure that Soldiers within their commands are evaluated under the body fat standards prescribed in this regulation.

2–10. Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

The CG, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command is responsible for ensuring Soldiers are trained on basic performance nutrition at the time of their initial entry.

2–11. School commandants

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command school commandants, and commandants and/or commanders of USAR Forces schools, the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center, and/or ARNG-conducted schools (regional noncommissioned officer (NCO) academies, State military academies, or ARNG professional education center courses) will take the actions in accordance with AR 350–1 upon determining that a student arrived for a professional military school who exceeds the body fat standard.

2–12. Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command

The CG, U.S. Army Medical Command will:

a. Establish and provide weight reduction and counseling programs in Army medical treatment facilities (MTFs) in support of the ABCP.

b. Provide appropriate literature and training aids for use by Soldiers, supervisors, and commanders in selection of a proper diet.

c. Ensure commanders of overseas major medical commands institute weight reduction and counseling programs in Army medical facilities in support of the ABCP.

2–13. Commanding General, U.S. Army Human Resources Command

The CG, U.S. Army Human Resources Command will:

a. Monitor the ABCP in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

b. Take appropriate action under guidance prescribed in this regulation.

c. Ensure that members applying for tours of active duty, active duty for training (ADT), active duty support, and Active Guard Reserve (AGR) meet the body fat standards prescribed in this regulation. Soldiers who do not meet these standards will not be permitted to enter on active duty, ADT, active duty support, or in AGR status.

2–14. Individuals

Each Soldier (commissioned officer, warrant officer, and enlisted) is responsible for meeting the standards prescribed in this regulation.

2–15. Order issuing officials

Order issuing officials will ensure all temporary duty and permanent change of station orders include the following in the text: “You are responsible for reporting to your next duty station and/or school in satisfactory physical condition, able to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and meet body fat standards in accordance with AR 600–9.”

2–16. Commanders and supervisors

Commanders and supervisors (Active Army and Reserve Component (RC)) will:

a. Implement the ABCP, to include evaluation of the military appearance of all Soldiers under their jurisdiction and measurement of body fat as prescribed in this regulation.

b. Ensure the continued evaluation of all Soldiers under their command or supervision against the body fat standards prescribed in this regulation.

c. Review monthly Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions Management Report (AAA–095) for all Soldiers who are flagged or have been flagged within the past 36 months for failing to meet body fat standards.

d. Forward a complete ABCP file (see para 3–8) to the gaining unit on each Soldier who conducts a permanent change of station and is flagged for noncompliance with body fat standards.

2–17. Health care personnel

Health care personnel will:

a. Assist commanders and supervisors in ensuring that individuals who exceed body fat standards receive nutrition and weight reduction counseling from a registered dietitian, if available. If a registered dietitian is not available, nutrition and weight reduction counseling may be provided by a healthcare provider, to include nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or medical doctor.

b. Identify those individuals who have a pathological condition requiring medical treatment.

c. Evaluate Soldiers who exceed body fat standards in accordance with this regulation.

d. Advise Soldiers that while various medical conditions, environmental conditions, functional limitations (temporary or permanent physical profiles), and/or medications may contribute to weight gain, they are still required to meet the body fat standard established in this regulation. The DCS, G–1 is the exception to policy approval authority (see para 3–17) for special considerations.

e. Refer Soldiers to appropriate specialist for nutrition and exercise counseling, if indicated.

f. At the request of a commander, provide education and information to Soldiers on healthy eating behaviors.

2–18. Designated unit fitness training noncommissioned officer or master fitness trainer

A designated unit fitness training NCO or master fitness trainer will:

a. Prescribe proper exercise and fitness techniques, according to Field Manual (FM) 7–22, to assist Soldiers in meeting and maintaining body fat standards.

b. Assist commanders in developing programs that establish a physical fitness program in accordance with FM 7–22.

c. Train other command designated NCOs in proper height, weight, and body circumference methodology to assess body fat composition.

Chapter 3 Army Body Composition Program

3–1. Overview

Soldiers are subject to many demands and challenges that may impact individual readiness. The ABCP provides commanders a systematic approach to enforce military standards across the unit, while supporting Soldiers with the resources they need to return to an optimum level of individual readiness.

3–2. Standard

a. Soldiers are required to meet the prescribed body fat standard, as indicated in appendix B. Soldiers will be screened every 6 months, at a minimum, to ensure compliance with this regulation.

b. The only authorized method of estimating body fat is the circumference-based tape method outlined in appendix B.

c. Commanders are authorized to use the weight for height table (see app B) as a screening tool in order to expedite the semi-annual testing process. If Soldiers do not exceed the authorized screening table weight for their age and measured height, no body fat assessment is required.

d. Commanders have the authority to direct a body fat assessment on any Soldier that they determine does not present a Soldierly appearance, regardless of whether or not the Soldier exceeds the screening table weight for his or her measured height.

e. Soldiers identified as exceeding the body fat standard will be flagged in accordance with AR 600–8–2 and enrolled in the ABCP. They must meet the body fat standard in this regulation in order to be released from the program.

3–3. Exemptions

a. Soldiers assigned or attached to a Warrior Transition Unit or Community Based Warrior Transition Unit must meet the body fat standard. Soldiers with special considerations may request a temporary exception to policy. See paragraph 3–17.

b. The following Soldiers are exempt from the requirements of this regulation; however, they must maintain a Soldierly appearance:

(1) Soldiers with major limb loss. Major limb loss is defined as an amputation above the ankle or above the wrist, which includes full hand and/or full foot loss. It does not include partial hand, foot, fingers, or toes.

(2) Soldiers on established continued on active duty and/or continued on active Reserve status. See AR 635–40.

(3) Pregnant and postpartum Soldiers. See paragraph 3–15.

(4) Soldiers who have undergone prolonged hospitalization for 30 continuous days or greater. See paragraph 3–16.

(5) New recruits. These recruits, regardless of component, will have 180 days from entry to active service to meet the retention body fat standards established in this regulation. Failure to achieve retention body fat standards at 180 days will result in Soldiers being flagged in accordance with AR 600–8–2 and enrolled in the ABCP.

c. Soldiers that do not meet the criteria of paragraph b, above have the option to request a temporary exception to policy. See paragraph 3–17.

3–4. Weigh-in and body fat assessment

a. Weigh-ins and body fat assessments will be conducted in accordance with appendix B. All Soldiers will be weighed every 6 months, at a minimum.

b. In order to ensure the ABCP does not interfere with Soldier performance on the APFT, commanders and supervisors are encouraged to allow a minimum of 7 days between APFT and weigh-in, if feasible. Some Soldiers that are close to exceeding the screening weight may attempt to lose weight quickly in the days leading up to a weigh-in.

This practice may result in the Soldier being unable to perform his or her best on the APFT, if the two events are scheduled close together.

c. Routine weigh-ins will be accomplished at the unit level. Percent body fat assessments will be accomplished by company or similar level commanders (or their designee) in accordance with standard methods prescribed in appendix

B. Soldiers will be measured by trained individuals of the same gender. If a trained individual of the same gender is not available to conduct the measurements, a female Soldier will be present when a male measures a female, and a male Soldier will be present when a female measures a male. IRR members on annual training, ADT, and special ADT will have a weigh-in and body fat assessment (if required) by the unit to which they are attached.

d. Units maintain height, weight, and body fat assessment data according to unit policy. The height, weight, and body fat percent may be entered on the Department of the Army (DA) Form 705 (Army Physical Fitness Test Scorecard) but they are no longer required entries. Units may track height and weight on a centralized roster, the DA Form 705, and on the DA Form 5500 (Body Fat Assessment Worksheet – Male) or DA Form 5501 (Body Fat Assessment Worksheet – Female) if a body fat assessment is required.

3–5. Enrollment in the Army Body Composition Program

a. Active Army and RC Soldiers who exceed body fat standards in appendix B will be enrolled in the unit ABCP. Enrollment in the ABCP starts on the day that the Soldier is notified by the unit commander (or designee) that he or she has been entered in the program (see para 3–6 for guidance on notification counseling).

b. While enrolled, Soldiers will be provided exercise guidance by the unit master fitness trainer and/or unit fitness training NCO in accordance with FM 7–22; nutrition counseling by registered dietitian (or health care provider, if a dietitian is not available); and assistance in behavioral modification, as appropriate, to help them attain the requirements of the Army.

c. Initial entry Soldiers who exceed body fat standards after 180 days from date of entry to active service will be entered in the ABCP and flagged under the provisions of AR 600–8–2 by the unit commander.

3–6. Actions, counselings, and evaluations for Active Component and Reserve Component Soldiers on active duty

The following actions are required when a Soldier is determined to be exceeding the body fat standard (see table 3–1):

a. Notification counseling. In accordance with AR 600–8–2, the commander has 3 working days to Flag the Soldier using DA Form 268 (Report to Suspend Favorable Personnel Actions (FLAG)) and 2 working days from initiation of DA Form 268 to counsel and/or notify and enroll the Soldier in the ABCP. The effective date of the DA Form 268 flagging action is the date that the Soldier is found to be noncompliant. Notification counseling documentation will be completed in accordance with figure 3–1. During this notification counseling, Soldiers will be advised they—

(1) Have a DA Form 268 placed on their record to suspend favorable personnel actions. Some of the ramifications of the flagging action include:

(a) Are nonpromotable (to the extent such nonpromotion is permitted by law).

(b) Will not be assigned to command, command sergeant major, or first sergeant positions.

(c) In accordance with AR 350–1, are not authorized to attend military schools and institutional training courses.

(2) Are enrolled in the ABCP effective immediately. While enrolled they—

(a) Must read the online U.S. Army Public Health Command (USAPHC) Technical Guide (TG) 358 within 14 days of enrollment and schedule an appointment with a dietitian, if available, or health care provider.

(b) Must complete and return their Soldier Action Plan (refer to para b, below) to the commander within 14 days of the notification counseling.

(c) Are required to meet with a dietitian or health care provider within 30 days of enrollment in the ABCP, bring a copy of the commander’s request for nutrition counseling (fig 3–2) and their Soldier Action Plan to the dietitian for review, and provide the commander a memorandum signed by the dietitian (or health care provider if a dietitian is not available) verifying that the nutritional counseling took place.

(d) Must participate in unit monthly ABCP assessments to document their progress.

(e) Must meet the body fat standard in order to be released from the ABCP.

(f) Must demonstrate satisfactory progress, as defined in paragraph 3–9b, while enrolled in the ABCP and understand that failure to do so will result in bar to reenlistment or initiation of separation proceedings.

(g) May request a medical examination if there is reason to believe that there is an underlying medical condition that may be the direct cause of weight gain or the direct cause of the inability to lose weight or body fat.

(3) Must acknowledge enrollment in the ABCP by memorandum to the commander (see fig 3–3) within 2 working days of notification of enrollment.

b. Soldier Action Plan. Within 14 days of the notification counseling, the Soldier will respond to the commander with a Soldier Action Plan confirming that he or she has read USAPHC TG 358, provide date and time of scheduled nutrition counseling, and indicate what approach he or she intends to use to work towards meeting the body fat standard. As a part of the Soldier Action Plan, the Soldier must complete the Army MOVE!23 (http://usaphcapps.amedd.army.mil/move23/register.asp) interactive questionnaire, review the survey results, and record the retrieval code. During the nutrition counseling, the Soldier should provide this retrieval code to the dietitian or health care provider to enable him or her to review the Soldier’s responses and provide feedback. The Soldier has the option to modify his or her plan while enrolled in the ABCP (for example, a Soldier may initially opt to follow a commercial weight loss program, but then 2 months later decide to enroll in a no-cost internet-based program). A sample Soldier Action Plan is at figure 3–4.

c. Nutrition counseling. The Soldier has 30 days after enrollment in the ABCP to meet with a dietitian (or health care provider, if a dietitian is not available) to receive nutrition counseling. Soldiers will schedule this appointment and coordinate any absence with their supervisory chain. Soldiers will provide the commander a memorandum signed by a dietitian or health care provider verifying that the nutrition counseling took place. A sample memorandum is at figure 3–5.

3–7. Actions, counselings, and evaluations for Reserve Component Soldiers not on active duty

The following is required when a Soldier is determined to exceed the body fat standard (see table 3–1):

a. Notification counseling. In accordance with AR 600–8–2, the commander has until the final unit training assembly of that weekend’s multiple unit training assembly (MUTA) to Flag the Soldier using DA Form 268. Soldiers will be counseled regarding the initiation of the DA Form 268 prior to the conclusion of the first training period following the date the flagging action was initiated in accordance with AR 600–8–2. The effective date of the flagging action is the date the Soldier is found to be noncompliant. During this notification counseling, Soldiers will be advised they—

(1) Have a DA Form 268 placed on their record to suspend favorable personnel actions. Some of the ramifications of the flagging action include:

(a) Are nonpromotable (to the extent such nonpromotion is permitted by law).

(b) Will not be assigned to command, command sergeant major, or first sergeant positions.

(c) In accordance with AR 350–1, are not authorized to attend military schools and institutional training courses.

(2) Are enrolled in the ABCP effective immediately. While enrolled they—
(a) Must read the USAPHC TG 358 within 14 days of enrollment. An appointment with a dietitian is optional at the Soldier’s own expense.

(b) Must complete and return their Soldier Action Plan (refer to para b, below) to the commander prior to the conclusion of the first training period after being notified of enrollment in the ABCP.

(c) Must participate in unit monthly ABCP assessments to document their progress.

(d) Must meet the body fat standard in order to be released from the ABCP.

(e) Must demonstrate satisfactory progress, as defined in paragraph 3–9b, while enrolled in the ABCP and understand that failure to do so will result in bar to reenlistment, initiation of separation proceedings, or a transfer into the IRR.

(f) May request a medical examination if there is reason to believe that there is an underlying medical condition that may directly contribute to weight gain or prevent weight or body fat loss. This exam is at the Soldier’s own expense.

(3) Must acknowledge enrollment in the ABCP by memorandum to the commander (see fig 3–3) no later than the following MUTA after the notification of enrollment.

b. Soldier Action Plan. At the next scheduled MUTA following ABCP enrollment notification counseling, Soldiers will respond to the commander with a Soldier Action Plan confirming that they have read USAPHC TG 358. As a part of the Soldier Action Plan, Soldiers must complete the Army MOVE!23 (http://usaphcapps.amedd.army.mil/move23/register.asp) interactive questionnaire, review the survey results, and record their retrieval code. The retrieval code is to be recorded in the event the Soldiers choose to review the results with a dietitian or health care provider during a nutrition counseling appointment. Soldiers have the option to modify their plan while enrolled in the ABCP (for example, a Soldier may initially opt to follow a commercial weight loss program, but then 2 months later decide to enroll in a no-cost internet-based program). A sample Soldier Action Plan is at figure 3–4.

c. Nutrition counseling. This is optional at the Soldier’s own expense.

3–8. Administrative requirements

Commanders must maintain an ABCP file at the unit on each Soldier enrolled in the program. Each file must include, at a minimum, the following for each enrollment:

a. DA Form 268 initiating the flagging action.

b. DA Form 5500 or DA Form 5501 from enrollment and each monthly assessment.

c. Notification counseling (see fig 3–1).

d. Soldier Action Plan (see fig 3–4).

e. Nutrition counseling results memorandum (AC and RC on active duty only) (see fig 3–5).

f. Medical evaluation request memorandum(s), if indicated (AC and RC on active duty only) (see fig 3–6).

g. Medical evaluation results, if indicated (AC and RC on active duty only) (see fig 3–7).

h. Release from ABCP counseling memorandum from the unit commander (see fig 3–8).

i. Copy of DA Form 3349 (Physical Profile), if indicated.

3–9. Monitoring Soldier progress in the Army Body Composition Program

a. Approximately every 30 days (or during unit assemblies for RC not on active duty), commanders will conduct a monthly ABCP assessment to measure Soldier progress, with results annotated on DA Form 5500 or DA Form 5501. During monthly assessments, every Soldier enrolled in the ABCP will be weighed and have a body fat assessment conducted in order to document weight and fat loss progress.

b. A monthly loss of either 3 to 8 pounds or 1 percent body fat are both considered to be safely attainable goals that enable Soldiers to lose excess body fat and meet the body fat standards. Soldiers that meet either of these goals are considered to be making satisfactory progress in the ABCP.

c. When necessary, commanders and supervisors will provide additional support, guidance, and resources to enhance Soldier’s success. This may include time to participate in ongoing nutritional counseling or weight loss programs as prescribed by the dietitian or healthcare provider. Helpful tips for commanders and supervisors are located in appendix C.

3–10. Medical evaluation

a. A medical evaluation is required when:

(1) Requested by the unit commander.

(2) Requested by the Soldier (at own expense for RC Soldier not on active duty).

(3) Soldier is being considered for separation for failure to make satisfactory progress in the ABCP (applies to AC and RC on active duty only).

(4) Soldier is within 6 months of expiration term of service after the initiation of a reenlistment bar for failure to make satisfactory progress in the ABCP.

b. The health care provider will conduct a medical evaluation to ensure the Soldier can participate in the ABCP and rule out any underlying medical condition that may be a direct cause of significant weight gain or directly inhibit weight or body fat loss. If an underlying medical condition is found, the following applies:

(1) If the medical condition is temporary and can be controlled with medication or other medical treatment and meets the retention standards of AR 40–501, the health care provider will—

(a) Initiate treatment.

(b) In accordance with AR 40–501, prepare a temporary profile in the e-Profile application within the Medical Operational Data System (MODS) (https://apps.mods.army.mil) listing any functional limitations that would prevent the Soldier from fully participating in the ABCP.

(c) Complete the memorandum (fig 3–7) and return to the commander for enrollment in the ABCP.

(d) Refer to appropriate specialist for nutritional and exercise counseling.

(e) RC personnel not on active duty may choose to self-refer to their personal physician (at their own expense) for further evaluation or treatment.

(2) If the medical condition does not meet medical retention standards of AR 40–501 (see medical fitness standards for retention and separation, including retirement) the health care provider will refer the Soldier to a medical evaluation board.

c. Aircraft crewmembers exceeding the body fat standards will be referred to a flight surgeon for medical evaluation and determination of impact on flight status.

d. Health care providers will not use the e-Profile application within the MODS (https://apps.mods.army.mil) to recommend exemption from ABCP for temporary medical conditions. Health care providers will use the medical evaluation results memorandum (fig 3–7) for this purpose.

3–11. Temporary medical condition

a. All Soldiers found to exceed the allowable body fat standard will have a DA Form 268 initiated and be enrolled in the ABCP.

b. Soldiers found to have a temporary medical condition that directly causes weight gain or prevents weight or body fat loss will have up to 6 months from the initial medical evaluation date to undergo treatment to resolve the medical condition. The medical specialty physician may extend the time period up to 12 months if it is determined more time is needed to resolve the medical condition. During this time, the Soldier will participate in the ABCP, to include initiation of a DA Form 268, nutrition counseling, and monthly body fat assessment, but will not be penalized for failing to show progress. However, if the Soldier meets the body fat standard during this timeframe, he or she will be removed from the ABCP.

c. The provisions of this paragraph are not applicable to medical conditions or injuries based solely on a prescribed reduction in physical activity. The inability to exercise does not directly cause weight gain. Health care personnel will advise Soldiers to modify caloric intake when reduced physical activity is necessary as part of a treatment plan.

d. Once the medical condition is resolved, or 6 months (not to exceed 12 months), whichever occurs first, from the date of the medical evaluation, and if the Soldier still exceeds the body fat standard, he or she will continue participating in the ABCP but will be required to show satisfactory progress, as defined in paragraph 3–9b. Health care providers will forward to the Soldier’s commander an updated memorandum stating the effective date that the Soldier’s temporary medical condition is resolved.

e. If the Soldier is unable to show satisfactory progress in accordance with paragraph 3–9b, the Soldier will be subject to separation.

3–12. Program failure

a. Satisfactory progress in the ABCP is defined as a monthly weight loss of either 3 to 8 pounds or 1 percent body fat.

b. A Soldier enrolled in the ABCP is considered to be failing the program if:

(1) He or she exhibits less than satisfactory progress on two consecutive monthly ABCP assessments; or

(2) After 6 months in the ABCP he or she still exceeds body fat standards, and exhibits less than satisfactory progress for three or more (nonconsecutive) monthly ABCP assessments.

c. When a Soldier has failed the program, the commander will request a medical evaluation.

(1) If the medical evaluation finds the Soldier has a medical condition that does not meet medical retention standards of AR 40–501 (see medical fitness standards for retention and separation, including retirement) the Soldier will be processed in accordance with AR 40–501 (see chap 3, disposition).

(2) If the Soldier is found to have a temporary underlying medical condition that directly causes weight gain or prevents weight or body fat loss, the commander will follow the requirement in paragraph 3–11b.

(3) If the medical evaluation finds no underlying medical condition, then the commander will initiate separation action, bar to reenlistment, or involuntary transfer to the IRR for RC Soldiers in accordance with AR 140–10.

(4) For RC personnel not on active duty only, if the individual has not obtained an evaluation from his or her personal physician under the provisions of paragraph 3–7a(2)(f) and cannot demonstrate that the overweight condition results from an underlying or associated disease process, the individual may be separated under appropriate regulations without further medical evaluation by health care personnel.

d. The commander or supervisor will inform the Soldier, in writing, that a bar to reenlistment, separation action, or a transfer to the IRR is being initiated under the following applicable regulation(s): AR 135–175; AR 135–178; AR 600–8–24 (see eliminations and miscellaneous types of separations); AR 601–280; AR 635–200; AR 140–10; National Guard Regulation (NGR) (AR) 600–5; NGR 600–101; NGR 600–200; or NGR 635–100.

3–13. Release from the Army Body Composition Program

a. Commanders and supervisors will remove individuals administratively from the ABCP as soon as the body fat standard is achieved. Soldiers that meet the screening table weight must remain in the ABCP program until they no longer exceed the required body fat standard.

b. The commander will remove the DA Form 268 actions and counsel the Soldier on the importance of maintaining body composition and potential consequences if re-enrolled in the program within 36 months. A sample memorandum of release from ABCP counseling is at figure 3–8.

3–14. Body fat assessment failure within 36 months of release from Army Body Composition Program

a. If a Soldier again exceeds the body fat standard within 12 months after release from the ABCP, a DA Form 268 will be initiated on the Soldier. The Soldier will undergo a medical evaluation (at own expense for RC not on active duty).

(1) If the Soldier is found to have a temporary medical condition that prevents weight or body fat loss, the commander will follow the requirements of paragraph 3–11.

(2) If no underlying medical condition is found, the commander will initiate separation action, bar to reenlistment, or transfer to the IRR per paragraph 3–12d.

b. If, after 12 months but less than 36 months from the date of release from the ABCP, it is determined that a Soldier again exceeds the body fat standard, a DA Form 268 will be initiated on the Soldier. The Soldier will undergo a medical evaluation (at own expense for RC not on active duty).

(1) If the Soldier is found to have a temporary medical condition that prevents weight or body fat loss, the commander will re-enroll the Soldier in the ABCP under the requirements of paragraph 3–11.

(2) If no underlying medical condition is found, the commander will re-enroll the Soldier in the ABCP. The Soldier will have 90 days to meet the standards. Soldiers who meet the body fat standard at the 90-day point will be released from the ABCP. Soldiers who do not meet the ABCP body fat standard at the 90-day point are considered ABCP failures. Commanders will initiate separation action, bar to reenlistment, or transfer to the IRR per paragraph 3–12d for all Soldiers who fail to meet the body fat standard at the 90-day point.

3–15. Pregnancy

a. Personnel who meet this regulation’s standards and become pregnant will be exempt from the standards for the duration of the pregnancy plus the period of 180 days after the pregnancy ends. If, after this period of exemption they are verified to exceed the body fat standard, they will be enrolled in the ABCP, pending approval of a medical doctor that they are fit to participate in the program.

b. Soldiers who become pregnant while enrolled in the ABCP will remain under the flagging action.

c. Soldiers entered or re-entered in the ABCP after pregnancy will be considered first-time entries into the program; paragraph 3–14 will not apply at that time.

d. If the Soldier is determined to exceed the body fat standard and is identified to have a temporary underlying medical condition, refer to paragraph 3–11 for appropriate actions.

3–16. Hospitalization

Personnel who meet this regulation’s standards and are hospitalized for 30 continuous days or more will be exempt from the standards for the duration of the hospitalization and the recovery period as specified by their profile, not to exceed 90 days from discharge from the hospital. If at the end of the specified recovery period the Soldier exceeds the allowable body fat standard, a DA Form 268 will be initiated on the Soldier and he or she will be enrolled in the ABCP.

3–17. Exception to policy authority

a. The DCS, G–1 is the approval authority for all exceptions to this regulation. All requests for an exception to this policy will include an endorsement from a medical professional and be processed through the Soldier’s chain of command, with recommendations as to disposition from the company, battalion, and brigade-level commanders, reviewed by the servicing staff judge advocate, and submitted directly to Deputy Chief of Staff, G–1 (DAPE–HR), 300 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310–0300 for final determination.

b. The use of certain medications to treat an underlying medical or psychological disorder or the inability to perform all aerobic events may contribute to weight gain but are not considered sufficient justification for noncompliance with this regulation. Medical professionals should advise Soldiers taking medications that may contribute to weight gain, or Soldiers with temporary or permanent physical profiles, that they are still required to meet the body fat standard established in the regulation; the Soldier may be referred to an appropriate specialist for nutrition and exercise counseling as indicated.

c. Chronic medical conditions will not be used to exempt Soldiers from meeting the standards established in this regulation.

d. There are no exemptions to the provisions of this regulation based solely on race, ethnicity, or gender.

3–18. Reenlistment criteria

a. Personnel who exceed the body fat standard in appendix B will not be allowed to reenlist or extend their enlistment.

b. Exceptions to policy for Active Army personnel (including RC personnel on active duty) are prescribed in this subparagraph. For Soldiers who are otherwise physically fit and have performed their duties in a satisfactory manner, the commander exercising General Court Martial Convening Authority or the first general officer in the Soldier’s normal chain of command (whichever is in the most direct line to the Soldier) may approve the following exceptions to policy:

(1) Extension of enlistment may be authorized for personnel who meet one of the following criteria:

(a) Individuals who have a temporary medical condition that directly precludes loss of weight or body fat. In such cases, the type of ongoing treatment will be documented and the extension will be for the minimum time necessary to correct the condition and achieve the required weight or body fat loss.

(b) Pregnant Soldiers (except those Soldiers who have medical conditions as listed in para 3–15d) who are otherwise fully qualified for reenlistment, including those with approved exception to policy, but who exceed acceptable standards prescribed in this regulation, will be extended for the minimum period that will allow birth of the child, plus 7 months. A clearance from the doctor that the Soldier is medically fit to participate in the ABCP is required. Authority, which will be cited on DA Form 1695 (Oath of Extension of Enlistment) is AR 601–280 (see determination of qualifications). On completion of the period of extension, the Soldier will be reevaluated under paragraph 3–15.

(2) Exceptions to policy allowing reenlistment and/or extension of enlistment are authorized only in cases where medically documented conditions (see para 3–11) preclude attainment of required standards.

c. All requests for extension of enlistment for ARNG and USAR (troop program unit and IRR) personnel not on active duty will be processed under NGR 600–200 or AR 140–111 (see extending enlistment or reenlistment agreements), as appropriate.

d. Requests for exceptions to policy will be forwarded through the chain of command, with the commander’s personal recommendation and appropriate comment at each level.

As a minimum, requests will include:

  • (1) The physician’s evaluation.
  • (2) A record of progress in the ABCP.
  • (3) Current height and weight.
  • (4) Current body fat assessment results.
  • (5) Years of active Federal service.
  • (6) Other pertinent information.

e. Soldiers who have completed a minimum of 18 years of active Federal service may, if otherwise eligible, be extended for the minimum time required to complete 20 years active Federal service. Retirement must be accomplished no later than the last day of the month in which the Soldier attains retirement eligibility. Application for retirement will be submitted at the time extension is authorized. Approval and/or disapproval authority is outlined in AR 601–280.

f. USAR Soldiers who have completed a minimum of 18 years of qualifying service for retired pay at age 60 may be extended for the minimum time required to complete 20 years qualifying service. Approval and/or disapproval authority is outlined in AR 140–111. Transfer to the IRR or Retired Reserve or discharge will be accomplished at the end of the retirement year in which the Soldier attains the 20 qualifying years.

g. ARNG Soldiers who have completed a minimum of 18 years qualifying service for retired pay at age 60 may be extended for the minimum time required to complete 20 years qualifying service by the State Adjutant General; disapproval authority is the Secretary of the Army. Transfer to the IRR or Retired Reserve or discharge will be accomplished at the end of the retired year in which the Soldier attains the 20 qualifying years.