January 10, 2023

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

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 Military.com 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

    Deputy Director of Studies, Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Katherine L. Kuzminski (formerly Kidder) is the Deputy Director of Studies, and the Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program at CNAS. Her research special...