In charge of conducting the nation's military operations at sea, the Navy is a vital branch of the United State's armed forces. In order to ensure all enlisted members are capable of performing their duties, the Navy has strict physical requirements in place, and height and weight standards are elements of them. All individuals interested in joining the Navy must meet specific height and weight requirements, and are expected to adhere to those requirements for the duration of their enlistment.
Men interested or currently enlisted in the Navy must be no shorter than 4-foot-9 and no taller than 6-foot-8. Weight must be proportionate to height, and standards are based on age. Men ages 17 to 38 must have no more than 22 percent body fat, and men over 40 must have no more than 23 percent body fat. The Navy lists the ideal weight for each height. For example, a man who is six feet tall should weigh no more than 191 pounds.
As with men, women interested or currently enlisted in the Navy must be no shorter than 4-foot-9 and no taller than 6-foot-8. Weight must be proportionate to height, and standards are based on age. Women ages 17 to 38 must have less than 33 percent body fat, and women over 40 must have no more than 34 percent body fat. The Navy lists the ideal weight for each height. For example, a woman who is 5-foot-2 should weigh no more than 149 pounds.
Leniency and Waivers
The Navy's height standards are non-negotiable, so a person who does not meet them is ineligible to enlist. Weight standards, however, may be granted a waiver and some leniency at the discretion of the Navy. Waivers may be given to members with a Body Mass Index, BMI, of 19 so long as it is higher than 17.5 and their health is otherwise good. Waivers may also be given in addition to suspension or disqualification, to provide members with a set period of time to either gain or lose weight to conform to standards.
Delayed Entry Program
For people who do not meet the weight standards and have yet to enlist, the Delayed Entry Program -- also known as the Future Soldiers Program -- exists to provide time for candidates to gain or lose weight. Members of the Delayed Entry Program are inactive reservists. They are given a specific date to report by to ship out and take an oath to show up. At the time they arrive, they must conform to the weight standards.
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