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Finally, for females, a hip measurement is taken over the widest part of the soldiers hips.Three measurements of each step are taken and averaged together.
I was fortunate enough to interview an anonymous Army ROTC cadet who was repeatedly subjected to the tape test during her three years in the program. Every time I am in that room, with my shirt pulled up and the tape wrapped around my waist, my sergeant sitting in the corner, saying 'I swear it will be the last time.' But it never is."She went on to say that, "The worst part is that they know this isn't the best method.
They know I contribute so much more to this program than a number will ever be able to say.
But it happens anyways." Other branches of the military are facing similar difficulties as BCP enrollees and discharges are on the rise; in 2011, the Department of Defense. Even the Marine Corp has doubled the number of discharges due to BCP since 2011.
Staff Sergeant Jeff Smith found himself in a tricky spot in 2009 when he was admitted to the Marine Corp Body Composition Program.
Staff Sergeant Smith's case was an extreme one, however there are some positives that come along with doing the tape test.
When you are faced with the task of finding the body fat of 100 soldiers, it is the cheapest and easiest way. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, the creator of the Army’s Soldier Athlete program, who also has a master’s degree in exercise physiology, said "maybe one out of 100 might have a good argument.This "circumference-based taping method" (AR 600-9, 3) is the only authorized method for determining body fat in the Army.In addition, "Commanders have the authority to direct a body fat assessment on any Soldier that they determine does not present a Soldierly appearance, regardless of whether or not the Soldier exceeds the screening table weight for his or her measured height" (AR 600-9, 3). It happens in three steps (female) and two steps (male) and is outlined in Appendix B: First, a neck measurement, measured just below the larynx and rounded up to the nearest half inch. The abdominal circumference is taken near the belly button or waist.These measurements in conjunction with height, are then used to determined body fat percentage. And just like that, males with a body percentage greater than 20% and females with a percentage greater than 30% are considered unfit for the Army.The percentages do get slightly greater with age, however.Each branch of the armed forces has a height and a weight standard and a method of testing each.Here is a little history about the Army specifically: the Army's height and weight standards are regulated in accordance to AR 600-9, the FM (Field Manual) appropriately titled The Army Body Composition Program, or ABCP for short.He said he "never felt out of fighting shape," recently finishing the San Diego Marathon with an impressive time of four hours and 22 minutes.He made it his mission to change the Marine Corp tape test to help others in his position keep their jobs.Some of the soldiers who fail this test are indeed overweight and do need the counseling and support that the Army can provide.Overweight soldiers are provided a personal coach to establish goals and timelines with them.