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How should the tape be aligned on the navel for an overweight weigh-in?

I detailed a SFC to conduct the taping with a "tape team." There was a question in regards to if one of the Soldiers was taped properly. I myself re-tapped the Soldier in question with the acting CSM watching. I aligned the bottom of the tape with the middle of the navel. AR 600-9 Reads: a. Abdomen. Measure abdominal circumference against the skin at the navel (belly button), level and parallel to the floor. Arms are at the sides. Record the measurement at the end of Soldier’s normal, relaxed exhalation. Round abdominal measurement down to the nearest 1⁄2 inch and record (for example, round 343⁄4 to 341⁄2). The acting CSM called me out. He told me I was wrong. I turned to the reg, and it seems to me, this is a matter of interpretation as the reg tells you where to measure, but not which part of the tape has to go across.

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I would have to say neither one of you are correct. Typically when there is a discrepancy of this nature you refer to the picture. In this case Figure B-7 shows the tape passing directly over the navel. Using the wording in the paragraph B-4 “measure…against the skin at the navel” and Figure B-7 it is apparent to me that the tape goes over the navel.

I believe you and the acting CSM are both trying to ensure Soldiers are treated fairly and according to regulatory guides. I would recommend a professional discussion on the matter and then whatever comes out of that discussion is the answer. If the he pulls rank, be humble and professional and execute his direction. Also execute it with a positive attitude. I would encourage you to make a memorandum for record that contains the details of the conversation and discussion in case you are later questioned by the CSM about taping procedures.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Art


    AR 600-9 is easy..look at the picture. THe tape goes directly over the navel. As much center as possible parallel to the floor. Your right always give the Soldier the benifit of doubt. Round up on the neck and round down on the belly. I have Soldiers stand at the position of attention.

  • Trigger, Kurtis


    I have a soldier that is participating in the over weight program. When he got flaged the first time he was 14lbs over his max weight. He has sence lost 17lbs but the 1SG wont lift his flag because he is 1% over. We have no MFT in the unit, so we are unsure of the question at hand if you make weight do you still need to be taped in order to come off?Once your on the program?

    • Mark Gerecht


      My apologies for the delay in responding to you but we are a little swamped with questions at the moment. AR 600-9 page 9 is very specific with regard the screening will not be used to remove a Soldier from the program. Removal from the program is based on achieving the body fat standard. Here is an extract of AR 600-9:

      Commanders and supervisors will remove individuals administratively from a weight control program as soon as
      the body fat standard is achieved. The screening table weight will not be used to remove Soldiers from a weight control
      program. The removal action will be documented as shown in figure 3–1; removal of suspension of favorable personnel
      actions will be accomplished at that time.

      Hope this helps



    Off topic and off the record no one should be tap dancing around their maximum percentage for busting tape. With careers at stake with the draw down I am hearing more and more allegations of soldiers being tape incorrectly. Your nearest NCOES school (WLC for most installations) consist of the best trained personnel for taping soldiers correctly. The Commandant there could provide some extra guidance on properly taping soldiers.

    • jason


      Google AR 600-9 There you can find the steps when conducting the height and weight standars. When you get to step 2 it explains that you will use the smallest value of several measurements, it also states to measure between the navel and the lower end of the sternum(breast bone).

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