The Air Force Weight Standards

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, February 6, 2013 - View from the cockpit of an F-16 Block 30 pulling G's in the overhead break during Cope North 2013 exercises.
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, February 6, 2013 - View from the cockpit of an F-16 Block 30 pulling G's in the overhead break during Cope North 2013 exercises.. HIGH-G Productions/Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

The Air Force changed their weight standards, both for those serving, and for applicants when they adopted their new physical fitness program on January 1, 2004.

After one joins, there are no longer any specific weight or body fat requirements, as these factors are taken into consideration as one of the components on the periodic fitness assessment.

However, for new accessions, there are still minimum and maximum weight requirements to join.

One of the primary differences is that the weight chart is now exactly the same for males and females. The Air Force now uses a system called "Body Mass Index," or BMI. Those with a BMI of greater than 27.5, regardless of age or sex, must undergo a body-fat measurement to check if they are within Air Force Body Fat standards to join, and those with a BMI of less than 19.0 will require a medical waiver to join.

The formula to compute BMI is weight (in pounds) divided by the square of height (in inches), multiplied by 704.5 (Don't worry about that, though, the below chart shows the maximum and minimum weights using the formula).

When measuring height, round up for measurements of 1/2 inch or greater, and round down for measurements of less than 1/2 inch. When weighing, if the weight fraction is less than 1/2 pound, round down to the nearest pound. If the weight fraction is 1/2 pound or greater, round up to the nearest pound.

Applicants to join the Air Force who exceed weight requirements shown in the below chart are measured for body-fat. Body fat standards are no more than 20 percent for males under age 30, 24 percent for males age 30 or over, 28 percent for females under age 30, and 32 percent for females age 30 or over.

Procedures to measure body fat can be found in DoD Instruction 1308.3, DoD Physical Fitness and Body Fat Programs Procedures.

The standards occasionally change, but the Air Force regularly publishes updates.

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