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News | Oct. 1, 2019

Assessment of Recruit Motivation and Strength Program 2.0

By Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1


What is it?

The U.S. Army is implementing a new pilot for enlistments under a new talent management pilot program called the Assessment of Recruit Motivation and Strength Program 2.0 (ARMS). Under this new policy, applicants who exceed the body fat composition standards but exceed all other standards may enlist in the Regular Army, Army National Guard, or Army Reserve.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

The ARMS 2.0 Pilot builds on years of Army research with a previous study that indicates the Army can screen in enlistees who, despite, initially exceeding body fat composition standards are fit and can become productive members of the Army enlisted force.

  • A RAND study of a previous ARMS Pilot concluded the pilot was an extremely cost effective way of increasing accessions without lowering enlistee aptitude test scores or other qualifying criteria, and had no effect on overall attrition.

  • The study showed Soldiers who enlisted under the original ARMS Pilot were able to successfully complete their terms of service at the same rate as those who met height and weight standards.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army recognizes the applicant pool often exceeds body fat standards. Applicants with a body fat percentage of no more than two percent above the standard will have the opportunity to serve if they meet the highest levels of cognitive and physical strength requirements. Applicants must:

  • Score 50 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
  • Pass the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) at the "heavy" (black) level.
  • Choose an occupation that falls into the "black" (high) physical demands category.
  • Meet the Army's body fat composition standards no later than 12 months after joining.

Using talent management, the Army is investing in improving whole-person development as part of its People Strategy. The Army People Strategy and the program reforms supporting it will expand the pool of eligible men and women to serve without sacrificing the quality of the force, thus granting service-minded citizens the opportunity to serve.

Why is this important to the Army?

Individual Soldier fitness, health, professional and personal development are critical to readiness. ARMS 2.0 is a performance-based tool that enables the Army to attract bright, physically fit individuals for some of the Army's most physically demanding careers.


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