How to Calculate Body Fat for the Marine Corps


The United States Marine Corps (USMC), however, has rigid standards for potential recruits, especially when it comes to physical fitness. Marines and Marine recruits alike may not exceed certain weight requirements. If your weight exceeds the standard, your body fat will be measured. If you do not pass the body fat requirement, you will not be able to join the Marine Corps until your body fat is within the acceptable range. You can measure your own body fat in accordance to USMC standards so that you have a better idea as to whether or not you are eligible to enlist.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Black marker
  • Tape the tape measure to the wall vertically. Start where the wall meets the floor. The zero should be at the bottom of the wall.

  • Stand against the wall directly in front of the tape measure. You should be facing away from the wall. Stand with your feet together and flat against the floor. Make sure your shoulders are straight, but not raised.

  • Place the ruler flat on top of your head so that one end is touching the tape measure and the rest is touching your head. Draw a line on the tape measure, getting as close to the ruler as possible. Use a thin, black marker so the line will be easy to see. This will be your height measurement. You may round up if your height fraction is greater than half. For example, if you are 67 3/4 inches tall, you may round up to 68 inches.

  • If you're a male:
    Measure your neck and abdomen. The abdomen needs to be measured at your belly button. The neck should be measured in the middle. Make sure to keep the tape measure straight and flat against your skin. Do not pull the tape measure tight. If it lies completely flat against the skin, it is tight enough.

    If you're a female:
    You will need to measure your neck, abdomen, and hips. Measure the neck in the middle. the abdomen at the most narrow point, and the hips at the widest part. Round up to the nearest half inch.

  • Go to the USMC PFT Calculator website to enter your weight and measurements. Click on the "Calculators" tab located in the top left corner, then select "Body Fat Percentage." Put your measurements into the required fields and press "Calculate." The calculator will give you an estimated body fat percentage and will tell you if you pass Marine Corps body fat standards.


  • Sgt. Bradley D. Naukam; USMC; Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Photo Credit tape measure image by MichMac from
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