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Is there a regulation that specifies the type of scale to be used during a unit weigh-in?

Sergeant Major, I am an AGR SFC. Upon arrival at my unit I was tagged with the position of First Sergeant. My question: During BN APFT's and weigh-ins, the scales we use to weigh Soldiers are floor scales purchased from Wal-Mart. Does any regulation list a standard for what type of scale is to be used? Every unit I have been in AC or as an AGR have used the same standard scales.

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UPDATED POST:  The New AR 600-9 came out in June 2013.  It specifically addresses calibrating scales:  Here is what is says:Requires weight scale calibration annually (para B-2b).


Great question. To the best of my knowledge there is no such requirement.

Unfortunately the only information AR 600-9 provides about a scale is:

AR 600-9 B-2b:The weight will be measured with the Soldier in a standard PT uniform (gym shorts and T-shirt). Shoes will not be worn. The measurement will be made on scales available in units and recorded to the nearest pound with the following guidelines:  (1) If the weight fraction of the Soldier is less than 1⁄2 pound, round down to the nearest pound. (2) If the weight fraction of the Soldier is 1⁄2 pound or greater, round up to the next whole pound.

While most active units have the standard balancing scales, there are times when these scales are not present. Therefore it is extremely important that any scale you use be calibrated. Some scales will work fine at say the 50- 100 range and then vary in tolerance as weight increases.

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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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  • Stuart O'Black


    It is also important to note exceeding the weight standard for your height has no impact unless you fail the tape test that is required. So the only negative impact of the scale being off is that you may have to tape more or less Soldiers. If they are overweight according to the tape test regardless of the scale then they will be flagged and enrolled in the Army Weight Control Program(AWCP) . They scale being off could have a bearing on the monthly weight loss required to be successful which is not a lot. Also, remember meeting the height weight standard does not remove you from the AWCP only passing the tape removes you from the program.

    • Mark Gerecht


      Great point! Thanks for bringing this up

    • antwan


      That is not absolutely true. It is VERY possible to be under your allowed weight and still fail the tape test. All scales are suppose to be calibrated just prior to conducting a height and weight test.

      • Mark Gerecht


        First thanks for sharing the information. Greatly appreciate your assistance.
        Please provide a reference for your comment. As I read AR 600-9, AR 350-1, TC 3.22.20 none of these require a calibrated scale by regulation or guidance. Now I am in an agreement that a calibrated scale should be used but a command cannot be legally held to such action unless you have a TB/TC/TM/ETC for a scale that requires calibration. Based on my understanding and discussion with calibration specialist their is absolutely no (current) requirement to calibrate a scale. The Army of the lat 1980’s and early 1990’s did require a calibrated scale.
        Now with regard to being under weight and still failing a TAPE test that is possible but usually not probable. Typically a Soldier is only taped when they exceed their HT/WT limit. The exception to this is Soldier you are weighed based on an overweight appearance.
        If you see my response as not correct please provide a reference so I can become current on any changes.
        Thanks much

      • Stuart


        Thanks, Also in reference to ANTWAN statement yes you can be under the screening weight and still fail tape. However, the only reason to tape a person under the prescribed weight is if you go by the clause. AR 600-9 para 3-2 “When the unit commander or supervisor determines that the individual’s appearance suggests that body fat is
        excessive.” which would make the scale not matter if the Soldier failed the tape test regardless of their weight. Then they still would have to be enrolled and lose the prescribed BF%. Best to do your best to have a proper scale and remove the barracks lawyers.

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