united states coast guard

ALCOAST COMMANDANT NOTICE                          CANCEL DATE  24 SEP 2020

R 250748 SEP 19
UNCLAS //N01020//
ACN 112/19
C. Coast Guard Weight and Body Fat Standards Program Manual, COMDTINST M1020.8 (series)
D. U. S. Coast Guard Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Manual, Volume I, COMDTINST
M16114.32 (series)
E. Regulations of the Corps of Cadets, SUPINST M5215.2 (series)
F. Military Assignments and Authorized Absences, COMDTINST M1000.8 (series)
1. REFs (A) and (B) cancel previous Body Composition Related ACNs. This ACN is the updated
policy establishing a one-year Body Composition Pilot program.
2. 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 internal studies, the Women’s Retention Study and Holistic Analysis 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 that is based on the workgroup’s recommendations. This ACN revises the Weight and
Body Fat Standards Program, detailed in REF (C), and the associated screening process and
procedures (now designated the Body Composition screening) effective 01 OCT 2019. Highlights
include the introduction of the Abdominal Circumference (AC) measurement and the opportunity to
demonstrate compliance by completing and passing the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) also known as the
Boat Crew PT test. Additional details can be found at:
3. General overview: Any military member required to conduct a body composition screening,
per REF (C) (formally known as weigh-ins), will take the steps listed below to demonstrate
compliance with Body Composition Standards.
    a. Height and Weight Screening. If a member passes their weight screening, they will be
considered compliant. If they exceed weight screening standards;
    b. Body Fat Screening (Standard Tape Method) and AC measurement. As part of the one-year
pilot program, both tests must be conducted and recorded simultaneously. If a member passes
either measurement they will be considered compliant. If the member exceeds the maximum
permitted on both measurements;
    c. Members that exceed their Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) and both taping measurements
may have the option to take the PFT. Medical pre-screening for an abeyance, or eligibility
to take the PFT is required. If the member is positively pre-screened and determined eligible
to take the PFT and successfully passes, the member will be considered compliant with the Body
Composition Program.
    d. If the member elects not to take the PFT after determined to be positively pre-screened
or does not pass the PFT, the member will be processed per REF (C) for weight probation.
4. When performing any required body composition screening per REF (C) between 01 OCT 2019
and 30 SEP 2020, all personnel must adhere to the procedures in the order listed in paragraphs 5.
through 10. below and in the Body Composition Screening Desk Guide, which can be found at:
5. Height and Weight. Members will follow procedures in 2.B.4.b and 2.B.4.c of REF (C).
6. Body Fat Screening. Members will follow procedures in 2.C though 2.F of REF (C).
7. 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, a taper and an observer, will conduct the AC measurement on the member.
The gender of the taper, observer, and member will be the same. 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 measuring AC, 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. A “how to measure” AC video will be
released shortly and will be available at:
       (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.
AC is measured to skin and 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 will 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.
    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 with
Body Composition Standards.
8. The procedures to perform height and weight screening, body fat assessment and AC
measurements is located in the Body Composition Screening Desk Guide, which can be found at: This guide will be updated as needed
throughout the pilot program.
9. General Taping Procedures. All members that exceed their MAW will be required to
undergo a Body Fat Assessment and AC taping per paragraphs 5 through 7. In order to encourage
members to use safe weight loss practices and balance measurement accuracy and privacy, all
tape measurements will be made to skin except hip measurements. Members requiring hip taping
have the option to be taped over the uniform of the day, PT gear, or to skin. This optional
"over the clothes" method for hip measurements will use the same measurement locations and
taping procedures in REF (C). If the “over the clothes” option is chosen when conducting hip
taping, one inch will be subtracted from the hip measurement only. The recording of these
measurements and the averages noted in paragraph 2.D.3 of REF (C) still apply. All other
processes and procedures outlined in REF (C) for the body fat assessment and AC measurement
in paragraph 7, above, remain in effect.
10. If a member exceeds the MAW, body fat assessment, and AC measurement, the member will be
given a medical pre-screening questionnaire to determine eligibility for a medical abeyance. 
If the member does not qualify for a medical abeyance, the member may be deemed medically
fit to take the PFT. The only authorized PFT is the boat crew fitness test specified in REF (D)
at 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. Members who decline to
take the PFT or fail to complete the screening questionnaire will be considered to have not
passed the PFT. The PFT specified in REF (D) does not apply to Coast Guard Academy Cadets;
Cadets will continue to use the Physical Fitness Examination specified in REF (E).
11. PFT Guidance. Unit commands will conduct the PFT for members who exceed the MAW, body fat
assessment, and AC measurement and are cleared by a medical officer to take the PFT. The PFT
for active duty personnel should be administered within five business days after the member has
been cleared. Units will use the Fitness Assessment Protocols and Procedures Guide, in
conjunction with REF (D), to conduct the PFT. If the member elects the 12-minute swim as an
alternative to the 1.5 mile run, commands will assist the member in locating an appropriate
swimming pool. Local commands will be responsible for any pool fees that are incurred.
The guide and the applicable sections of REF (D) can be found at: PFT scores will be recorded in
Training Management Tool (TMT). Commands will notify their local admin on a member’s passed
or not passed the PFT for compliance. Any unit that conducts a PFT for compliance will submit
a brief report to COMDT (CG-11) on the time and resources used to conduct the PFT. The report
format can be found on the Body Composition Pilot Program website.
12. Probation Determination. Weight probation will begin when a member has exceeded their
MAW, failed to comply with both taping measurements and:
      a. A medical officer determines that the member is not cleared to take the PFT, and they
do not qualify for a medical abeyance or exemption, or;
      b. The member declines to take the PFT after being cleared by medical to take the PFT, or;
      c. The member does not pass the PFT.
13. Probation Duration. Probation calculations remain unchanged. Per REF (C) MAW and Body
Fat percentage will be used to determine probation periods. Commands will continue to use the
probation duration calculations located in REF (C). AC measurement will not be used to calculate
probation periods.
14. Reservists. If the member exceeds MAW and all taping measurements, the member will complete
a medical screening form prior to the conclusion of the drill period in which their screening
was conducted. If a follow-on medical appointment is needed, a Readiness Management Period will
be allotted to conduct the medical follow-up. Commands of reservists will provide advanced dates
for the PFT to allow members to adjust their schedule as needed. If member cannot meet those
dates due to other commitments, they can request an alternate date. PFT will be conducted on the
approved date, provided the member is cleared to perform the PFT. Reservists who are not cleared
to take the PFT, decline to take it, or fail it, and are not granted an exemption or abeyance,
will follow the process outlined in 4.C.4. of REF (C).
15. Exemption to Body Composition Screening standards:
      a. Service members are exempt from complying with weight and body fat standards during
pregnancy and, therefore, are not required to participate in weigh-ins. The member’s previous
weight data will be entered into Direct Access and the member will be considered compliant.
      b. Service members on maternity convalescent leave and primary or secondary caregiver leave
authorized in REF (F) are not required to break their leave to participate in required Body
Composition Screenings detailed in Chapter 2 of REF (C). Those members that are not exempt from
a weight and body fat screening must participate in the missed weigh-ins within 30 days of
their return to duty status.
16. Accessions. During the Pilot Program, Coast Guard Recruiting Command, the Leadership
Development Center, and Training Center Cape May will use MAW and Body Fat Assessment only to
determine weight compliance for their accessions’ training and recruiting. The AC measurement
and PFT is not an authorized path to compliance in the accessions process.
17. Policies and standards in REF (C), not specifically addressed in this ACN, remain unchanged.
All changes mentioned above will be incorporated into the next revision of REF (C) and will be
released within the next year.
18. For medical screening questions, please contact COMDT (CG-112) at:
19. For PFT questions, please contact COMDT (CG-111) at:
20. For general policy questions contact COMDT (CG-1331) at:
21. Released by Mr. Gary C. Rasicot, Acting Assistant Commandant for Human Resources.
22. Internet release is authorized.