US Coast Guard updates standards for its body composition program, introduces new measurement factors

united states coast guard 

 News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Contact: Headquarters Public Affairs
Office: (202) 372-4630
Headquarters online newsroom

US Coast Guard updates standards for its body composition program, introduces new measurement factors 


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday it is modernizing its body composition standards for its active duty and reserve servicemembers.

The pilot program offers multiple opportunities for servicemembers to demonstrate compliance, including a new abdominal circumference, fitness test, and also better connects medical professionals to the health assessment. Recent studies show abdominal circumference is a more accurate measurement of overall health risk than the standard taping methods.

The program will help Coast Guard men and women meet the service's operational needs and challenges while also maintaining healthy weights and body fat percentages.

Historically, 17 percent of all active and reserve personnel weigh-ins require the use of body measuring, or taping.

A one-year pilot program using additional opportunities for compliance will begin Oct. 1, 2019.

"The Coast Guard's greatest strength resides in our people, and it is incumbent that our leadership ensures alignment of policy to recruiting, training, and retaining the modern military workforce required to perform today's challenging missions," said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz. "The Body Composition Pilot Program is the result of proactively listening to our servicemembers, addressing potential inequities, and seeking solutions to ensure the health and wellness of our workforce."

The RAND Women's Retention Study and Holistic Analysis identified an existing policy that resulted in inequitable outcomes based on gender, disproportionately impacting women at a rate three times higher than men.

To find out more about the updated Weight and Body Fat Standards Program, go to