united states coast guard


R 101130 MAR 20
UNCLAS //N01020//
ACN 033/20
C. Coast Guard Weight and Body Fat Standards Program Manual, COMDTINST M1020.8
D. U. S. Coast Guard Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Manual, Volume II,
COMDTINST M16114.33 (series)
E. Regulations of the Corps of Cadets, SUPINST M5215.2 (series)
F. Military Assignments and Authorized Absences, COMDTINST M1000.8 (series)
1. This ACN modifies REF (A), the one-year Body Composition Pilot program. 
2. The medical screening procedures outlined in REF (B) remain unchanged.
3. 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
Workgroup reviewed 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) and found them still valid.
4. The data from the October 2019 screening period showed that the addition of the
Abdominal Circumference (AC) measurement provides a second, scientifically-sound
method by which members can be checked for compliance and align the Coast Guard with
DoD services. Additionally, we found the use of the AC measurement was well received
and we are now prepared to move forward with the formal adoption of that measurement.
The pilot has also identified members are not being measured for height once every
tour IAW REF (C).
5. As a result of what we have learned, the following changes to the one-year Body
Composition Pilot program are effective 01 April 2020.
    a. If a member has not conducted a height measurement during the current tour
one must be completed during the April weigh-in.
    b. If Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) is exceeded, there is no longer a
requirement to conduct both a Body Fat Screening (Standard Tape Method) and
measure AC. 
    c. Compliance and non-compliance standards for AC measurement and the
appropriate probationary period have been added.
6. Screening process (in order).
    a. Height measurement (if not done already during tour). 
    b. Weight is measured.
    c. A member who exceeds their MAW will be measured for Body Fat Screening
(Standard Tape Method) or AC measurement. As a change to the one-year pilot program,
members can choose either standard tape method or AC measurement. If a member passes
either measurement they will be considered compliant. Members that exceed their
chosen measurement can elect to take the second measurement.
    d. Members who exceed their MAW and do not show compliance by one of the taping
methods may have the option to take the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) described in
REF (D). 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 Pilot Program.
    e. If the member elects not to take the PFT after determined to be positively
pre-screened (does not qualify for an abeyance or exemption) or takes the test and
does not pass, the member will be processed per REF (C) for weight probation or
separation as appropriate.
7. When performing any required body composition screening per REF (C) between 01
APR 2020 and 30 SEP 2020, personnel must adhere to the procedures listed in this
message and in the Body Composition Screening Desk Guide, which can be found at:
8. Height and Weight. Members will follow procedures in 2.B.4.b and 2.B.4.c of
REF (C).
9. Body Fat Screening. Members will follow procedures in 2.C though 2.F of REF (C).
10. AC Measurement.
     a. 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 being 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 as 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.
        (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 is 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 members
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 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 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.
11. Taping guidance. 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 para 2.D.3 of REF (C)
still apply. All other processes and procedures outlined in REF (C) for the body fat
assessment remain in effect.
12. PFT guidance.
      a. If a member exceeds their MAW and does not show compliance through
body fat assessment or AC measurement, the member will be given a medical
pre-screening questionnaire to determine eligibility for a medical abeyance or
clearance by a medical officer to take the PFT. Medical screening procedures are
specified in REF (B). 
      b. The only authorized PFT is the boat crew fitness test specified
in REF (D) at Part 2, Chapter 4, Section D, Physical Fitness Standards. 
      c. If a 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. 
      d. 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).
      e. Members must be cleared by an Independent Duty Health Services Technician or a
medical officer to take the PFT per REF (B). 
      f. The PFT for active duty personnel should be administered within five business
days after the member has been cleared.
      g. Units will use the Fitness Assessment Protocols and Procedures
Guide, in conjunction with REF (D), to conduct the PFT. 
      h. 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.
      i. The guide and the applicable sections of REF (D) can be found at:
      j. PFT scores will be recorded in Training Management Tool (TMT). Commands will
notify their local admin if a member passed or did not passed the PFT for compliance.
      k. 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.
13. Probation Determination. Weight probation will begin when a member has exceeded
their MAW, fails compliance through one or both of the taping measurements, and fails
compliance through the PFT.  Non-compliance with the PFT occurs when;
     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.
14. Probation. There are four ways to avoid probation: compliance with MAW,
compliance with AC, compliance with body fat screening, or passing the PFT. Members
above their maximum screening weight by over 35 pounds and maximum allowable body fat
by more than eight percent and exceed AC by more than 4 inches, and have not passed
PFT are ineligible for probation. If a member fails, declines, or is not cleared to
take the PFT, and they exceed their maximum screening weight, body fat, and AC by the
values listed above, they will be processed for separation if they do not have an
abeyance. If a member declines to take one of the two measurements, their probation/
separation will be based on screening weight and their chosen tape measurement.
Commands will continue to use the probation duration calculations located in REF (C)
but include the AC safe loss rate of 0.5 inches per month. As with the other measures,
the maximum probation duration will be eight months. Probation duration will be based
on the measure that gives the member the longest probation duration. Members must wait
30 days from initial weight probation determination to have their first probation
Body Composition Check and must go through the entire Body Composition Screening
process at least monthly during the probation period.
15. Reservists. If the member exceeds MAW and 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. The 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).
16. 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.
17. 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. 
18. 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.
19. For medical screening questions, contact COMDT (CG-112) at:
20. For PFT questions, contact COMDT (CG-111) at:
21. For general policy questions contact COMDT (CG-1331) at:
22. Released by RADM J. M. Nunan, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources.
23. Internet release is authorized.