What to Do If You Fail Your Height Weight Test in the Army

Today, I want to give you some advice on what to do if you fail your Height Weight test in the Army.  With the obesity epidemic spreading throughout our society, and even into the Army ranks, obesity has become a significant problem in the Army, especially in the Army Reserves and Army National Guard.

Look across any USAR or ARNG unit and you will typically find that at least 10 percent of the Soldiers fail their Height Weight standards.  In some units it’s even worse.  And there are many overweight Soldier that barely pass the Height Weight test and are very close to failing.

If you fail the Height Weight standard, bad things can happen to you.  You can get discharged from the military, FLAGGED, your bonus can be recouped, and you can even miss out on schools and promotions.  I don’t want this to happen you.  Obviously, you need to be proactive and stay in shape.

However, if you are ever in a situation where you fail/failed the Army Height Weight test, there are some simple things you can do to redeem yourself and get back in shape.

# 1 Accept Responsibility – We live in a society of victims, even in the Army.  Until you accept responsibility for your own shortcomings, not much good will happen.  You have to look yourself in the mirror and do a gut check.  You have to realize and accept that the buck stops with you.  It’s your responsibility to get in shape.  It’s your fault you failed the Height Weight Standards. Man up or woman.  Let your supervisor and commander know that you messed up, but will get back on track quickly.

# 2 Get Help – The next thing you need to do is educate yourself and get help.  Obviously, you have a problem with eating too much, not eating right, and/or not exercising enough.  You might want to enroll in the Army’s FIT-P Program or consult with a nutritionist or trainer.  Meet with someone who is and expert on nutrition and exercise, so you can learn what you need to do to lose weight.

# 3 Come Up with a Plan – Once you meet with an expert, you need to develop a game plan.  It should be a written plan on what you will do to lose weight and get back in shape.  The plan should have clear goals and a list of things you need to do each day, week and month to drop those extra pounds.  Your plan must be realistic and attainable.

# 4 Stay Disciplined and Follow Through – The last step, which is the hardest step for most people is to stay disciplined and follow through with your game-plan.  Having the plan is just the starting point.  What you need to do is reform your habits and do something every single day to get back in shape.  I suggest you find an accountability partner that you can talk with each day and stay accountable.

# 5 Track Your Progress – You need to track your progress.  Use a journal or spreadsheet and weight in frequently so you can ensure the weight is coming off.  You will weigh in at your unit each month anyway.  I suggest you track your progress on your own.  This will let you know when you need to make adjustments.

Final Thoughts

People don’t get fat by accident.  It is a process that happens over a period of time by not eating right and not exercising enough.  In many cases, people get overweight by having bad eating and lifestyle habits.  For you to lose the weight you need to form new, healthy habits.  You also need to accept responsibility, get help, develop a plan, stay disciplined and track your progress.  Do that and the weight should come off and you can be within Army standards again.

What are your thoughts about what to do if you fail the Army’s Height Weight Test?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “What to Do If You Fail Your Height Weight Test in the Army”

  1. One of the requirements you have to meet to become a military service member is the body composition test. If you weigh between 148 and 267 pounds as a male and 120 to 184 pounds as a female, then you are good to go. It is definitely not an easy task. But it is not impossible either. You can start by reading how to lose weight for the military here. Briefly, you will need to: understand your body and set your goals, create a diet plan and stick to it, and come up with a workout routine and commit to it

  2. My daughter-in-law was given a HT/WT test today with only a 20-minute notice. Those that passed it was recorded as for record. Those that failed have to take another test at 0630 tomorrow for record. I’m confused as to how she is supposed to lose weight in less than 12 hours. She is on meds for depression that make you gain weight plus “a dead man’s” profile, She does what she can to help maintain her weight. She is still 4% over. Please advise.
    Her chain of command is aware of her circumstances.
    Thank you

  3. Not all weight related issues come from being your fault because you eat too much and don’t exercise enough. You could have a medical issue. If you’re slightly older hormones chance and then it’s near impossible to have a lean body. Does the army sack people for being too old or unfit even though they might have value with experience?

  4. What happens if you fail a H & W, just 1 month prior to your 20+ year retirement? Once your flagged just prior to retirement can any benfits be taken away?

  5. The electronic scales in Army fitness centers are outfitted with “Height”, “Weight” and “H/W ratio” displays, and a switch you can flip for Male or Female which will give you an accurate measurement of your H/W ratio. This is evidence of the importance of the H/W requirement in the Army. There are plenty of really fit soldiers, but there are also those who are surprisingly overweight. It’s a good point that it takes time to gain weight and therefore takes time to lose weight. Weight-loss is a long-term endeavor and as much requires a well-thought plan with goals along the way to keep you motivated.

  6. You make a good point with the idea that gaining weight takes time. What’s important to always keep in mind when you think about the Army Height/Weight Test is that losing weight takes time too. Too many soldiers start to worry about the Test just a few weeks before they are set to take it. They basically starve themselves for that month or so in order to make the test. Then once they pass, they go back to their same old bad eating habits. It’s not healthy and too often, it doesn’t work!

  7. True story: I failed my initial weight test when I was entering MEPS in 1997. It took me about 3 months to lose weight and have an available slot. By that time my guaranteed job was gone and I was more at the mercy of the system. Thankfully, I ended up in a great job and my experience was good, but it could have very easily gone wrong.
    Let's be honest, it's very easy to know what the requirements are before you report for a ht/wt test. It's a bad first impression to not be able to follow one of the first and most simple rules.

  8. Your number one tip is true: look in the mirror to see who is really to blame for your failure to meet the height-weight requirements. That’s blunt talk, and a lot of us (myself included) really don’t want to hear it, but it is the truth.

    Your second tip is also very good: get help. When you admit to another person that you have a weight issue, guess what: they probably already know. It isn’t the kind of thing you can really hide. Most people are incredibly supportive with this issue if they know that you are trying to do something about it.g

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