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New AR 600-9 Regulation 2023 Update: Army Body Composition Program (ABCP)

AR 600-9 Regulation
Army 600-9 Regulation Updates

AR 600-9 is an Army regulation that guides the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP).

  • The ABCP program ensures that all soldiers are physically fit to serve in the Army.

AR 600-9 Policies and Procedures:

  • The AR 600-9 Army Regulation describes the policies and procedures needed to evaluate and maintain the physical readiness of all Army personnel.
    • This includes active-duty soldiers, reserve soldiers, the National Guard, and Army civilians. 
  • In addition, it sets forth the standards for body composition and the methods for assessing and measuring body fat.

Role of Commanders and Supervisors

  • The AR 600-9 regulation is a guiding document for commanders and supervisors on what they need to do to make sure that soldiers who are overweight or obese get counseling, medical treatment, and help to reach and stay at a healthy weight. 
  • The AR 600-9 also guides soldiers on how to get exemptions and waivers for medical or other reasons and how to appeal decisions made by the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP).
  • If effectively implemented, the AR 600-9 is essential to making the Army effective by encouraging physical fitness and ensuring that all Army members meet the correct standards for their body composition.

New AR 600-9 Updates 2023

The Army recently published a new directive called “Army Body Fat Assessment for the Army Body Composition Program” to make immediate changes and updates to the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP).

The following are AR 600-9 Regulation updates for 2023:

New Tape Test Policy Introduced

  • The Army has published a new army tape test policy based on findings and recommendations from its recent comprehensive body composition study.
  • The policy is effective immediately and will now use a more consistent and accurate body circumference-based tape method to estimate soldiers’ body fat.

Highlights of the New Methodology

  • The new methodology only requires taping at one site and uses a corresponding calculation model for all soldiers.
  • The multi-site circumference-based tape method will be phased out over the next year.

Transition Period Procedures

  • For the next 12 months, soldiers who require a tape test will take the one-site test.
  • According to the AR 600-9 updates, soldiers who fail the one-site method can take their confirmation test using the multi-site tape method under Army Regulation 600-9, the Army Body Composition Program, also known as the ABCP.

Alternative Assessment Options

  • Soldiers who fail the initial and confirmation assessments can request a supplemental body fat assessment via the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DXA, InBody 770, or a Bod Pod.
  • After 12 months from the date of this directive, the one-site tape test will be the only authorized circumference-based tape method.

Goals of the New Policy

  • The new policy is intended to increase the force’s readiness by giving soldiers a more accurate assessment of their health and fitness and increasing their knowledge of available health resources to measure body composition.

Data-Driven Changes

  • This updated change results from data collected from the Comprehensive Body Composition Study.
  • It exemplifies how the Army is changing how we train, develop, and care for our most important asset, our soldiers.

Future Outlook

  • The Army will continue to use the data from this study to help inform other potential modifications to the Army Body Composition Program, ABCP.
  • The Army is fully committed to ensuring leaders across the force have the resources and training they need to implement the new updates to the ABCP.

Points in AR 600-9 Army Body Composition Program Regulation

The following are the key points from the AR 600-9 Army Body Composition Program Regulation:

Army Body Composition Standards:

  • The AR 600-9 regulation sets the Army’s body composition standards for all personnel.
  • It outlines the maximum percentages of body fat allowed based on age, gender, and fitness level.

Assessment and Measurement:

  • The Army Body Composition Program regulation explains how to measure and assess body fat.
  • It includes using circumference measurements and estimates of body fat percentage. 

AR 600-9 Regulation Responsibilities:

  • The regulation outlines the responsibilities of commanders, supervisors, and soldiers in ensuring compliance with the body composition standards.
  • Guides on counseling, monitoring, and enforcing the standards

Army Regulation 600-9 Exemptions and Waivers:

  • The regulation guides Army personnel on how to get exemptions and waivers for medical or other reasons. 
  • Provides a process for appealing decisions made by the ABCP.

Counseling and Treatment:

  • Army Regulation 600-9 requires commanders and supervisors to counsel and treat soldiers who exceed body composition standards.
  • It develops plans to help soldiers achieve and maintain a healthy weight during their time in the Army.

Reporting Requirements:

  • Army Regulation 600-9 requires regular reporting on the Army Body Composition Program’s compliance and effectiveness.
  • This report includes the number of soldiers screened and those who exceeded body composition standards.


  • The Army 600-9 regulation outlines the standards and procedures for assessing body composition during and after pregnancy.
  • The regulation guides counseling and treatment for soldiers who exceed the standards.

Taping Procedures:

  • The Army 600-9 regulation outlines instructions on how to measure the circumference of the body.
  • This includes how to use standardized taping methods and tools. 

Soldier Readiness:

  • The Army 600-9 regulation emphasizes the importance of maintaining an appropriate body composition in promoting overall soldier readiness and effectiveness.
  • It highlights the role of physical fitness in achieving mission readiness.

Unit and Individual Responsibilities:

  • The regulation emphasizes the shared responsibility of army units and individual soldiers for achieving and maintaining appropriate body composition standards.

Army 600-9 Regulation Conclusion:

Overall, AR 600-9 is a comprehensive Army regulation guiding Army personnel on body composition standards.

  • It advises commanders, supervisors, and soldiers on how to get and stay physically fit in the Army.
  • It outlines a framework for counseling, treatment, and appeals for soldiers who don’t meet the standards for body composition.

Army Regulation 600-9 Questions

What is Army Regulation 600-9?

Army Regulation 600-9 (AR 600-9) is the Army’s regulation on the Body Composition Program.

What does the AR 600-9 Regulation cover?

Army Regulation 600-9 outlines the rules, procedures, and standards for evaluating and keeping track of all Army personnel’s physical fitness and body composition, including those on active duty, those in the army reserve, and army civilians.

What Is The Maximum Body Fat Percentage For The AR 600-9 Army Body Composition Program?

The maximum body fat percentage allowed for Army personnel varies by age and gender. See the exact standards in the most current version of AR 600-9 (download), but as an example, for males aged 17–20, the maximum body-fat percentage is 20%, while for females aged 17–20, the maximum is 30%.

What Is The Purpose Of The Army Regulation 600-9 Army Body Composition Program Regulation?

The Army designed the AR 600-9 to improve soldiers’ physical fitness and readiness by ensuring they have the right body type for military service. It also helps soldiers reach and keep a healthy weight and offers counseling and medical care to those who don’t meet the standards. It also ensures commanders, supervisors, and individuals are held accountable.

George N.