The Marine Corps has strict height and weight standards. However, it is considered acceptable not to meet the height and weight standards as long as you meet the service's body fat standards.
Now, a recent change has been added. If you do not meet either the height and weight standards OR the body fat standards (charts below), you're still alright if you can crush the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and Combat Fitness Test (CFT). The service is focused on its Marines' performance, not aesthetics.
How the Marine Corps Measures Height and Weight
When measuring height and weight, the Marine stands with his/her back to the wall and, using an approved measuring device, the height is measured to the nearest inch. Weight is measured on an approved digital or balance scale and rounded to the nearest pound. One pound is removed to account for clothing (PT shirt, shorts and socks).
Men and Women Marine Corps Height/Weight Standards Charts (inches/lbs.)
If a Marine is BELOW the minimum standards for weight, no action is taken; however, the command may refer the Marine to human performance specialists or a nutritionist to make sure he or she is consuming a healthy diet/eating enough.
The Marine Corps changed its body fat standards and age groups for the PFT, CFT and Body Composition effective 2017. These new standards are as follows:
As of 2017, Marines may have their height, weight and body fat composition disregarded if they master the physical fitness test (PFT) and the combat fitness test (CFT). The requirements are extremely challenging, however: A score of 285 or higher is required on both tests to be totally exempt from the body fat limits.
A score of 250 or above allows an additional 1% of body fat per the guidelines. The maximum body fat percentages Marines at each age group can have are listed below:
Male Marines must be within the 18-21% body fat range, depending on age.
Female Marines must be within the 26-29% body fat range, depending on age.
PT programs used to train for the Marine Corps PFT can be found in the following Military.com links:
Other Marine Corps fitness-related links:
- The USMC Recruit Training PFT Standards
- The Marine Corps Body Composition Program
- The Marine Corps Fitness Score Charts
- The RECON Marine PFT
- The Marine Corps PFT
Ready to Join the Military?
We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you