Women's Health Portal

 Military Women's Fitness and Deployment

Last Updated: November 06, 2023
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Military Physical Fitness

​The DoD describes two primary components for mandati​ng and measuring the fitness of its active duty force in Department of Defense Fitness and Body Composition requirements (DoDI 1308.03)​ External Link

  1. Body Composition: based on a measurement that represents the percent of your body fat. Body fat may be measured in a variety of ways. The military services use screening measurements such as height-for-weight standards (comparable to the civilian medical world use of Body Mass Index, or BMI), and our “tape test” circumference measurements (waist, neck other). The recent DoD policy update provides some allowance to slightly exceeding body composition standards if a S​ervice member scores exceptionally high on the fitness test. This Army regulationExternal Link is an example of Service-specific body composition requirements. ​

  2. Service-specific physical fitness testing: each Service has established specific physical testing requirements usually a specified set of tests, performed on an annual basis, to ensure members maintain a basic level of physical capability in order for them to perform common military tasks. As an example, the newest Army test is currently using the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)External Link

    Article: Why fitness matters - reviewing history of Army fitness testing​External Link 

How can I safely train when pregnant or after pregnancy?​ The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has found that women who regularly engaged in vigorous aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and the postpartum period. However some specific exercise modifications may be advised​. 

How can I avoid injury when training?​External Link ALL Service members should learn proper forms of new fitness tests and very gradually increase weights, speeds, or repetitions over time. Read this article and train safely!


Deployment Health

Are you ready? In addition to Army fitness requirements, Soldiers need to be injury free and mentally healthy. The annual Health of the Force (HoF) Reports provides statistics on health conditions that hinder readiness.

How do I maintain hygiene in the field? Promoting Women's Health in Austere Environments

What were your exposures? Periodic Environments and Occupational Monitoring Summaries (POEMS) summarize conditions at various deployment sites. If you have concerns about possible exposures to chemical warfare agents or burn pits, see this site for information and registries.


Injury Prevention for Military Women

How can you avoid injury? Women may be more prone to certain injuries such as stress fractures - low weight, poor nutrition, and poor fitness can increase risk. Read here for tips to reduce your risk. ​