Spring 2022 - 16

%BF may meet the DOD standard, " says Grier.
" However, we still have other soldiers who
exceed standards. "
According to the APHC's 2020 Health
of the Force report, 17% of soldiers are
classified as obese according to the WHO/NIH
classifications. These service members do not
meet the DOD or Army standards.
Another APHC IPB expert, Dr. Joseph Pierce,
says while BMI and the adjusted Army weightfor-height
standards provide an important
measure of optimal physical readiness, there are
tradeoffs between body composition and types
of fitness.
" Soldiers with higher BMIs tend to perform
better on strength and power tests, such as
lifting heavy objects, but not as well on aerobic
endurance tests, such as running two miles,
while soldiers with lower BMIs perform better
on aerobic events like running, " says Pierce,
lead author of a recent study of BMI and fitness
capabilities among soldiers.
Soldiers with very low BMI have also been
found to have higher injury rates across
physical fitness levels, says Jones. This finding
underscores the risks of being underweight and
the need to ensure weight control efforts do not
result in excessive dieting and weight loss.
While DODI 1308.03 establishes the
parameters of body composition required for
all active-duty military personnel, it also allows
for a range of body sizes and fitness testing
necessary to meet service-specific needs.
The updated policy, Jones says, now
permits the military services to make
allowances for their members who fail the
body composition standards but perform
exceptionally high on their physical fitness
test. The policy does not stipulate how each
service will implement this change, but
16 | Tactical Training & Conditioning | Spring 2022
excelling at fitness tests may allow some
soldiers to exceed the body fat standards.
The policy also requires the Army, Air Force,
Navy, and Marine Corps to maintain physical
fitness programs and monitor the number and
types of injuries each year to ensure personnel
can perform their duties in a manner that
reduces the risk of fitness-training-related
injuries. The policy allows each service to
determine its own fitness testing methods and
standards to meet its unique mission needs.
For its fitness testing, the Army chose the
Army Combat Fitness Test to replace its
40-year-old Army Physical Fitness Test. The
recently revised, six-event ACFT includes
gender- and age-adjusted standards and
replaces the leg tuck with the plank.
The U.S. Army Public Health Center focuses
on promoting healthy people, communities,
animals, and workplaces through the prevention
of disease, injury, and disability of soldiers,
retirees, family members, veterans, Army
civilian employees, and animals through
population-based monitoring, investigations,
and technical consultations.
*The appearance of U.S. Department of
Defense (DoD) visual information does not
imply or constitute DoD endorsement. n

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