TABLE 2-3Maximum Body Fat (%) for Accession and Retention

Age (y)
Marine CorpsMale18181818
Air ForceMale20 (17–29 y)24 (30+ y)
Female28 (17–29 y)32 (30+ y)

NOTE: The body fat % is dependent upon age group, except for the Marine Corps, which does not distinguish between age groups.


The Navy accession standard for body fat is 1% higher than retention standards. Specifically, the Navy accession standard for women is 34 percent body fat with a retention standard of 33 percent, for men the accession standard is 23 percent body fat and the retention standard is 22 percent.

SOURCE: GAO (1998); Singer et al. (2002).

From: 2, Military Standards for Fitness, Weight, and Body Composition

Cover of Weight Management
Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs.
Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.
Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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