U.S. MILITARY BODY FAT CALCULATOR

This U.S. Army/Navy/Marine body fat percentage calculator is an anthropometric (tape measure) method of determining total body fat percentage, lean body mass, fat body mass and BMI. For more details, see below.

  • U.S. System Metric System




Description Men Women
Essential fat 3–5% 10–13%
Athletes 6–13% 14–20%
Fitness 14–17% 21–24%
Average 18–24% 25–31%
Obese 25+% 32+%


What is the Body Fat Calculator Based On?

The Body Fat Calculator is based on equations developed by James A. Hodgdon and Marcie B. Beckett at the U.S. Naval Health Research Center in 1984 and involves measuring height and the circumference of the neck, waist, and hips (only for women) and plugging the data into an equation (different for men and women) to determine total body fat percentage. Details on the equations can be found here.

Body Fat Tape Measurement

Included below are the cut-off body fat percentages for the different age groups and sexes in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine, and U.S. Navy Corp.

The Department of Deference has set a minimum goal of 18% body fat percentage for men and 26% for women.

Instructions for Body Part Measurement

General: It is best to take multiple measurements and average them out before putting the numbers into the body fat calculator. For a more accurate assessment, ask someone else to take your measurements.

Height: It is important to be still, stand barefoot and look ahead during measurement.

Neck: Stay relaxed, look ahead and get the measurement of the circumference of the neck at a point just below Adam’s apple (larynx).

Waist: Look straight ahead, keep your arms placed at your side and do not suck in your gut. Measure the circumference of the belly around the navel.

Hip: Feet must be placed close together and the measurement must include the largest circumference of the hips.

The calculator above includes settings for the Metric System as well as the U.S. Customary System.

U.S. Army Body Fat Standard

The Body Fat Calculator takes into account all the factors used by the U.S. Military in measuring a recruit's body fat percentage. In accordance with the U.S. Army Standards of Medical Fitness, a candidate must meet its maximum allowable body fat percentage standard prior to entry in the army. These body fat percentages are as follows:

Initial Qualification
Age Men Women
17-20 26% 32%
21-27 26% 32%
28-39 28% 34%
40 + 30% 36%

Upon entry into the army, the recruit must meet its more stringent body fat percentage standard or else be put on a mandatory fat loss plan. The candidate could face additional discipline is these body fat percentage standards are not met. These body fat percentages are as follows:

Body Fat Percentage Qualification Post Army Entry
Age Men Women
17-20 20% 30%
21-27 22% 32%
28-39 24% 34%
40 + 26% 36%

Finally, the Department of Defence has set 18% body fat percentage for men and 26% for women as the ideal goal for every single member.

U.S. Marine Body Fat Standard

The U.S. Marine Corps. Body fat percentage standard is based in accordance with the Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program. These body fat percentages are as follows:

Body Fat Percentage Qualification U.S. Marine Corps.
Age Men Women
17 to 20 18% 26%
21 to 25 18% 26%
26 to 30 19% 27%
31 to 35 19% 27%
36 to 40 20% 28%
41 to 45 20% 28%
46 to 50 21% 29%
51 + 21% 29%


U.S. Navy Body Fat Standard

The U.S. Marine Corps. Body fat percentage standard is based in accordance with The Body Composition Assessment (BCA). The maximum allowable body fat percentages are as follows:

Age Men Women
18 to 21 22% 33%
22 to 29 23% 34%
30 to 39 24% 35%
40 + 26% 36%


Body Mass Index (BMI) Standard

BMI is a simple measurement based on your height and weight to determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. BMI does not measure body fat percentage directly but has shown to moderately correlate with other methods of body fat measurement.

It is a rudimentary measurement and can vary significantly depending on age, distribution of muscle mass, bone density and fat mass. The BMI calculation does not take ethnic body differences into account. It should be taken as a rule of thumb rather than the perfect determination of your overall health.

BMI General Categories
BMI Category
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

BMI Height & Weight Chart

BMI Chart

Source: Wikipedia

The World Health Organization has the following breakdown for BMI Categories:
Category BMI (FROM) BMI (TO)
Very severely underweight - 15
Severely underweight 15 16
Underweight 16 18.5
Normal (healthy weight) 18.5 25
Overweight 25 30
Obese Class I (Moderately obese) 30 35
Obese Class II (Severely obese) 35 40
Obese Class III (Very severely obese) 40 45
Obese Class IV (Morbidly obese) 45 50
Obese Class V (Super obese) 50 60
Obese Class VI (Hyper obese) 60+

Other Body Fat Calculators

A.I. Body Fat Percentage Calculator

U.S. Military Body Fat and BMI Calculator

Skinfold Caliper Body Fat and BMI Calculator

Face Fat Calculator

Additional Sources

1. Comparison of Bioelectrical Impedance and Navy Seal Formula to Measure Body Composition in Medical Students

2. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs.

3. Maximum Body Fat (%) for Accession and Retention

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