united states coast guard


R 061323 AUG 19
UNCLAS //N01020//
ACN 082/19
A. Coast Guard Weight and Body Fat Standards Program Manual, COMDTINST M1020.8H
C. U. S. Coast Guard Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Manual, Volume I, COMDTINST
M16114.32 (series)
D. Regulations of the Corps of Cadets, SUPINST M5215.2 (series)
1. COMDT (CG-1) chartered a Wellness and Readiness Workgroup to explore a Service definition
of personal readiness and review the Weight and Body Fat Standards policy as well as to
address issues raised by the Women’s Retention Study and Holistic Analysis (WRSHA) and
feedback from service members. The objectives of the original policy (to ensure that
all Coast Guard military personnel are capable of meeting the organization’s operational
needs and challenges; maintain a healthy weight and body fat percentage and; present a sharp
professional military appearance) were affirmed to be still-applicable. This ACN announces
a one-year body composition pilot program and is based on the workgroup’s
recommendations. Additional details can be found at: This ACN revises the Weight
and Body Fat Standards Program, REF (A), and associated screening process and procedures
(now designated the body composition screening) effective 01 OCT 2019.
2. General overview: Any military member required to conduct the body composition
screening per REF (A) will take the below steps to demonstrate compliance with REF (A) in
the listed order.
    a. Height and Weight Screening. If a member passes their weight screening, they will be
considered compliant. If they fail their weight screening;
    b. Body Fat Screening (Standard Tape Method) and Abdominal Circumference (AC) measurement.
As part of the one-year pilot program, both tests must be conducted and recorded.
If a member passes either measurement they will be considered compliant. If the member fails
both measurements;
    c. Medical screening for an abeyance and or eligibility to take the Physical Fitness
Test (PFT). If the member is eligible to take the PFT and successfully passes, they will be
considered compliant.
    d. If the member fails the PFT or elects not to take it, and they are not granted a
medical abeyance, they will be placed on weight probation.
3. When performing any required body composition screening per REF (A) between 01 OCT 2019
and 30 SEP 2020, all personnel must adhere to the procedures in the order listed in
paragraphs 4 through 10 below and in the Body Composition Screening Desk Guide.
4. Height and Weight. Members shall follow procedures in 2.B.4.b and 2.B.4.c of REF (A).
5. Body Fat Screening. Members shall follow procedures in 2.C though 2.F of REF (A).
6. AC Measurement.
    a. General: The AC is a circumferential measure of abdominal girth at the iliac crest
(top of hipbone). This measurement is highly correlated with internal fat and indicative of
true disease risk independent of body mass. Increased health risks associated with overfat
are not only related to total body fat, but also more closely to fat distribution. Upper body
fat, specifically abdominal fat, presents the greatest health risk; it is highly linked to
cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Reducing abdominal girth
or circumference is more important than normalizing body weight. Exercise increases muscle
mass and can mask reductions in girth, i.e., with proper exercise body weight may stay the
same or even increase, but "belt size" will reduce. Since abdominal fat is an independent
risk factor for disease, the evaluation of AC is important to a member’s health risk.
    b. Measuring AC.
        (1) Two persons will conduct the AC measurement on the member- the taper and the
observer. The taper will take the measurement and the observer will read the taping
instructions and ensure that taping is performed correctly. For consistency purposes,
spring-loaded tension tape measurers are required to be used when AC measurements and the
manufacturer’s instructions must be followed. The instructions must be read to the member
at the start of an AC measurement procedure, and are found in the Body Composition
Screening Desk Guide.
        (2) The member will stand facing forward with their arms to their side similar to the
position of attention. The taper will take the measurement from member's right hand side.
If the member chooses to be measured over bare skin, the member will adjust clothing so it
does not fall over their waist during the measurement. The taper will set the end of the
tape directly above the hip-bone (iliac crest) and ask the member to hold it in place
(if desired, the member may assist in locating the measurement landmark by resting the
right hand on the hip, using rearward facing right thumb to locate the iliac crest).
The taper will walk around to confirm parallel placement of the tape and then kneel down
to measure the AC at the end of the member's normal breath exhalation. The taper shall
make sure the member does not hold their breath. The taper will repeat the sequence/order
measurement three times and record each measurement rounding down to the nearest 1/2 inch.
If any of the measurements differ by more than one inch from the other two, an additional
measurement will be taken by the taper. The taper will add up the three closest measurements
divide by three, and round down to the nearest 1/2 inch. The taper will record this as the
AC measurement. The same gender AC measurement will be conducted for all personnel.
    c. The AC Standard. The maximum AC is 39.0 inches for males and 35.5 inches for females.
Any measurement at or under the maximum circumference will be considered compliant.
7. The procedures to perform height and weight screening, body fat assessment and AC
measurements is in the Body Composition Screening Desk Guide located at: This guide will be updated as
needed throughout the pilot program.
8. If the member elects to be taped over their clothes for the body fat assessment and AC,
the following procedures previously established in REF (B) shall apply.
    a. All service members requiring taping have the option to be taped over the uniform of
the day, physical training (PT) gear, or in accordance with current policy for abdominal
and hip measurements. This optional "over the clothes" method will use the same measurement
locations and taping procedures for body fat assessment in 2.E and 2.F of REF (A) and for
the AC measurement in paragraph 6.
    b. An allowance of one inch will be subtracted individually from both abdominal and hip
measurements during the body fat assessment and during the AC to account for the “over the
clothes” method. The recording of these measurements and the averages noted in para 2.D.3
of REF (A) still apply.
    c. Neck measurements remain over the skin; no allowance will be made.
    d. The preferred physical training gear is the USCG PT T-shirt and USCG Basic PT Shorts,
but civilian physical training clothing is authorized.
    e. Appropriate under garments shall be worn during the taping process. Compression
garments, pantyhose, or shape wear of any kind are not authorized during taping.
    f. Members who fail the Body Fat Assessment and AC measurement shall be given the option
to be retaped for both measurements over clothes or over bare skin as their individual
situation applies.
    g. All other processes and procedures outlined in REF (A) for the body fat assessment
and AC measurement in paragraph 6 remain in effect.
9. If a member exceeds the maximum allowable weight, body fat assessment, and AC measurement,
the member will be referred to medical for an assessment to determine eligibility for an
abeyance or waiver or if the member is medically fit to take the PFT. The only authorized
PFT is the test specified in REF (C) Part 4, Chapter 3, Section D, Physical Fitness Standards.
If the member is medically fit to take the test, they will be considered compliant if they
pass the PFT. Coast Guard Academy Cadets will continue to use the Physical Fitness Examination
specified in REF (D) in place of the PFT.
10. If the member is not eligible for an abeyance or waiver, and they fail or are ineligible
to take the PFT, the member will be placed on probation per REF (A). AC measurement will not
be used to calculate probation periods. Commands will continue to use probation duration
calculations contained in REF (A). The member will be given a copy of the weigh-in worksheet
and Chronological Record of Medical Care (SF-600).
11. Policies and standards in REF (A) not specifically addressed in this ACN remain unchanged.
All changes mentioned above will be incorporated into the next revision of REFs (A) and (B),
which will be released within the next year.
12. Additional TTPs and guidance concerning the taking, recording, and tracking of the AC and PFT
are forthcoming.
13. For general policy questions contact COMDT (CG-1331) at
14. Released by Mr. G. C. Rasicot, Acting Assistant Commandant for Human Resources.
15. Internet release is authorized.