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Thread: Tape Test And The Mil

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    Tape Test And The Mil

    I posted some papers here some years ago on how the BMI penalizes many in the mil, but can't find them on searching here.

    At one time, the military used BMI exclusively to decide if someone was above acceptable bodyfat levels. We all know the +/- of BMI.. Later, If people failed the BMI, they were given the tape test, which is supposed to more accurately asses BF apparently. I'm assuming the tape test is based off the relative fat mass index (RFM)? The RFM seems more accurate then BMI and they claim RFM actually correlated well to DEXA (I'm skeptical, but OK...) in the article posted, but there's example of people doing very well on all the physical recs but failing the tape test.

    Clearly, the tape test penalized certain body types, still does not account for FFM of some individuals (albeit better then BMI...) and does not achieve it's goals of finding out if the soldier can do what's needed of them in the field/their MOS, etc.

    Thoughts and or resources I should read on the topic? Do different branches handle this differently than the big green? I think the mil needs to come up with a points system metric of some sort. I understand the need for simplicity of formulas such as BMI and RFM, but it's cheap and easy to use basic calipers say, and I'd like to see perhaps a tape, vs calipers vs DEXA or water comparison. Maybe those who fail the tape test, but do very well on the physical tests gets kicked up for additional tests? I need to research this one some more, but I was spurred onto to reexamine this topic after seeing a pic of someone clearlt in great shape, who aces the physical recs, who could probably drag an injured person and take the SAW and ammo with her, get rejcted from taking her Sgts test due to failing the tape test, and that pisses me off!

    Article on how people getting too fat for the mil (which we know is true) but also some discussion on the tape test, and supposed new guidelines coming and such:

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...getting-worse/
    Last edited by WillBrink; 08-21-19 at 17:09.
    - Will

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    I'm actually wondering if there will be changes concerning Body Fat%, however unlikely. The ACFT answers a lot of questions (according to the Army) on who belongs where. If you can pass your ACFT according to the rating of your MOS, you are most likely within standard to continue service in the Army. However, appearance is subjective, and yet still part of the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    I'm actually wondering if there will be changes concerning Body Fat%, however unlikely. The ACFT answers a lot of questions (according to the Army) on who belongs where. If you can pass your ACFT according to the rating of your MOS, you are most likely within standard to continue service in the Army. However, appearance is subjective, and yet still part of the job.
    I'd hope they place the most weight (no pun intended) on the ACFT giving much less priority to appearance per se. I'd be interested to know how that's being approached and balanced out currently. Many don't seem to like the ACFT, but while not perfect, seems a big step in the right direction to testing fitness capabilities relevant to the mil compared to running and sit ups and such.
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    Will, currently, if you fail tape, you are a no-go for body composition, even if you absolutely crush PT. You get flagged, and remedial stuff must be done.
    RLTW

    “That is why there isn't an AK chart.” -SteyrAUG
    “They eat tide pods also so what's your point?” Retrorevolver77

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    Will, currently, if you fail tape, you are a no-go for body composition, even if you absolutely crush PT. You get flagged, and remedial stuff must be done.
    People have their bonuses recouped, barred from reenlistment, cannot be be promoted, etc. For a long time, being a good runner who can run like a gazelle but not punch your way out of a paper bag has been a likely track to promotion. (Not that you can't run well and still push well.)

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    >can't effectively mentor subordinates
    >out of depth in a mud puddle
    >no tactical proficiency
    >300+ APFT
    >automatic P status

    Army Strong.

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    That problem isn’t going anywhere. I understand USMC has the same issue.

    Alternatively, we also manage to promote people that can’t PT for shit.
    RLTW

    “That is why there isn't an AK chart.” -SteyrAUG
    “They eat tide pods also so what's your point?” Retrorevolver77

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    Will, currently, if you fail tape, you are a no-go for body composition, even if you absolutely crush PT. You get flagged, and remedial stuff must be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    People have their bonuses recouped, barred from reenlistment, cannot be be promoted, etc. For a long time, being a good runner who can run like a gazelle but not punch your way out of a paper bag has been a likely track to promotion. (Not that you can't run well and still push well.)
    Then that's some serious fail right there. Same for other branches? I ask because someone I know posted this:

    "So today I failed tape n am being placed in the ABCP (Fat) program. I will not be attending Drill Sergeant school anymore and will he conducting remedial PT.... today is not my day, it’s a hard day but imma figure this out."

    Now this woman is not fat, she has abs, and can bang out chin ups like a 20 year old fit male marine, and probably out squat most of the men, obviously has no issues acing the PT tests, and their ruining her career. She's simply a thick built person. WTF Army? Gonna lose a solid performer "cuz standards"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    Then that's some serious fail right there. Same for other branches? I ask because someone I know posted this:

    "So today I failed tape n am being placed in the ABCP (Fat) program. I will not be attending Drill Sergeant school anymore and will he conducting remedial PT.... today is not my day, it’s a hard day but imma figure this out."

    Now this woman is not fat, she has abs, and can bang out chin ups like a 20 year old fit male marine, and probably out squat most of the men, obviously has no issues acing the PT tests, and their ruining her career. She's simply a thick built person. WTF Army? Gonna lose a solid performer "cuz standards"?
    Concerning your last question: Absolutely. Soldiers who are content not to excel can stay under the radar for quite some time. After all, if you are doing your job well and are an asset the person conducting the tape test may tape a hair loose on the neck and tight on the waist (for males). But there is no escaping it in the long run due to promotional schools, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    Concerning your last question: Absolutely. Soldiers who are content not to excel can stay under the radar for quite some time. After all, if you are doing your job well and are an asset the person conducting the tape test may tape a hair loose on the neck and tight on the waist (for males). But there is no escaping it in the long run due to promotional schools, etc.
    Well, if you choose a look/body type over performance, you're gonna pay an ugly price for that, as you're all too aware no doubt. I mean, tape test is better than BMI, and the ACFT seems a step in the right direction too, but this is not rocket science and a non mil civi idiot like me could come up with a system that worked for most in 10 mins.
    - Will

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    “Those who do not view armed self defense as a basic human right, ignore the mass graves of those who died on their knees at the hands of tyrants.”

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