What You Should Know About the Army Weight Control Program

An Army sergeant loses 40 pounds to remain in the service.
Sgt. Navril Carrion works out at McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Carrion lost 40 pounds through dieting and exercise to keep her Army career alive. (Sgt. Cody Quinn/U.S. Army photo)

The Army's physical fitness program has two factors: the Physical Fitness Test and the Army Body Composition Program.

The Army Weight Control Program ensures every soldier is healthy, physically fit and combat ready. The program requires you to meet specific weight standards, which are based on height, weight and gender. 

Under the AWCP, you will be required to weigh-in at least once every six months. This may be done at the same time as your Army physical fitness test. In most cases, failing to pass the Army's minimum weight or body-fat percentage standards will make you ineligible for promotion, transfer, reenlistment or opportunities to attend professional schools.

View the current AWCP height for weight chart.

If you do not meet the initial height/weight requirements, the Army uses a calculation based on your abdominal and neck measurements to determine your body-fat percentage. The following chart shows the maximum allowable body-fat percentage:

Age Group


Body Fat

























Army Weight Control Charts

If you exceed the Army's body-fat percentage requirements, you will receive an official letter stating that you will be placed on a weight monitoring program. The program will require you to lose a specific number of pounds per month. You also will receive personal counseling to help you develop a fitness and nutrition routine to help you reach your weight loss goals. 

Losing weight requires a commitment to a healthy diet and a regular workout routine. Stew Smith, Military.com's tactical fitness expert, has a variety of articles to assist you in learning how to eat to lose weight as well as better prepare you for the rigors of military fitness. Check out the following links to reach your fitness and weight-loss goals:

Many of my favorite PT programs to train for the Army PFT can be found in the following Military.com links:

Other related Army fitness articles:

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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