Image credit: Senior Airman Beaux Hebert

January 10, 2023

The Air Force Is Changing the Way It Measures Body Fat for Airmen and Guardians

Featuring Katherine L. Kuzminski

Source: Task and Purpose

Journalist David Roza

While it may sound similar to the “tape test” that the service ditched in 2020, experts say that the new waist-to-height ratio may be more forgiving than its predecessor.

“From my read of the new standard, it is both more accurate and has the potential to be more lenient, enabling a wider variety of body types to pass while maintaining the standard,” Katherine Kuzminski, senior fellow and program director for the Military, Veterans & Society project at the Center for a New American Security, told Task & Purpose.

Kuzminski added that the new test “appears to be more tied to a service member’s medical outcomes rather than their performance.” While there could still be career implications for not meeting the standard after a year, “the new policy could have positive implications for commander’s assessments of unit readiness,” she said.

Kuzminski is not the only one open-minded about the new test. Stew Smith, a former Navy SEAL, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, told in February that the then-pre-decisional height-to-waist ratio was “a better math equation than what they had previously, and it seems like this one may be more lenient.”

Read the full story and more from Task & Purpose.


  • Katherine L. Kuzminski

    Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Katherine L. Kuzminski (formerly Kidder) is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program at CNAS. Her research specializations include Dep...