Now, I’m a little late getting this news to you guys. I’m sorry; I finally got word of it while researching. And it was a couple of months ago, during the 2022 ASA exhibit or conference.
Sergeant Major of the Army Grinson announced the Army would be changing the height and weight requirements; if a soldier can score 540 points on the ACFT Test 2023, they will be completely exempt from the army height and weight standards outlined in AR 600-9.
540 ACFT No Height and Weight
You will be exempt from height and weight if you score 540 on the Army Combat Fitness Test. The majority of us who have served or are currently serving can agree that the height and weight standards in the Army have been outdated for some time now. You know, they miss a lot of marks considering the difference between body fat percentage and muscle mass percentage.
Challenges with Height and Weight Program Implementation
Throughout my career, I’ve seen plenty of times when some of the fittest soldiers will completely crush the PT test, either the APFT or the ACFT, because they’re strong. They have a lot of muscle, but when it comes time to measure their height and weight, they bust weight and have to get taped, which can be embarrassing sometimes.
Other times, a soldier will get through the PT test with flying colors, but somehow they still bust both weight and tape. So now they are looking at a career problem.
An argument can be made that that’s not an issue with the soldier but with the standards. The 540 score incentive takes care of this issue, use the acft calculator 2023 to get your score.
ARMY DIR 2023-08: 540 ACFT Scoring
The directive ARMY DIR 2023-08 exempts all soldiers who score 540 in the ACFT from any body fat assessment, regardless of their weight or height. It’s worth noting that the directive also outlines a mandatory score of 80 points or above for each ACFT event, alternate Army ACFT events are not authorized.
Below is an extract of the directive; a copy is available for download.
“SUBJECT: Army Directive 2023-08 (Army Body Fat Assessment Exemption for Army Combat Fitness Test Score)
1. References. See enclosure.
2. Purpose. This directive implements immediate changes to the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP) that address findings from the scientific assessment of the program. It provides incentives for soldiers to maintain physical readiness and establishes the process for body fat assessment exemptions when warranted.
3. Applicability. The provisions of this directive apply to the Regular Army, Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and U.S. Army Reserve.
4. Background. The Department of Defense authorized the Army to implement revisions to the ABCP that account for the whole soldier concept and improve talent management. This directive announces immediate modifications to the ABCP to incentivize high levels of physical fitness and ensure that all Army soldiers maintain the level of physical readiness necessary to perform their duties.
5. Policy. a. ABCP Modification, Effective immediately, all soldiers who score 540 points or more on the record Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), with a minimum of 80 points in each event, are exempt from the Army body fat circumference-based tape assessment. This policy applies to Soldiers who complete all six primary events of the ACFT; no alternate events are authorized. The exemption is not retroactive.”https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN37812-ARMY_DIR_2023-08-000-WEB-1.pdf
Unhealthy Approaches to Meeting Height and Weight Standards
The Army’s ACFT 540 passing score is a blessing for many soldiers. However, I’ve worked with many buddies throughout the years that I’ve seen go through some challenges with the height and weight program and how it’s implemented, and it’s not always a positive thing.
I’ve seen soldiers hitting the gym non-stop, super fit guys, but they’re just teeter-tottering on that weight scale on whether or not they’re going to have to be taped, and they don’t want to be taped. So, they’ll start doing things like taking Hydroxycut or running around with sweatsuits and stuff like that a few days before the PT test or before they’re actually going to get weighed, which is super bad for you, by the way.
Don’t run around in sweat suits; don’t do that to yourself. That’s not good. All you’re doing is sweating out all your water weight. You’re not burning extra calories doing that. So don’t do that, guys.
Or they’ll adopt unhealthy diets weeks before they’re supposed to take a PT test for the record, which will diminish their performance, all because they’re afraid of how much they’ll weigh.
That’s not good for the force, and the 540 ACFT score changes are necessary to ensure that the Army can maintain a healthy and fit Army force and that it is fair and reasonable for all soldiers.
540 Points ACFT Conclusion
In conclusion, the new exemption from height and weight standards for soldiers who score 540 points or better on the ACFT is a welcome change. It acknowledges that the old height and weight standards were outdated and did not accurately reflect a soldier’s fitness level.
However, work must be done to ensure that the Army’s fitness standards are fair and reasonable for all soldiers. Soldiers must continue striving for excellence in fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Still, it is equally essential for the Army to provide fair and reasonable standards for all soldiers.