This handout will provide you with general information
concerning Chapter 18, 635-200, Failure to Meet
Body Fat Standards. You can find further information
in AR 635-200 or you may consult with your Trial
Defense Service (TDS) attorney.
I. Basis. The initiation of separation action is mandatory
if one of the criteria below is met. “Initiation of separation
action” means a separation action must be started and
presented to the separation authority, however
separation itself is not mandatory. Each level of
command below the separation authority are free to
make a recommendation they deem appropriate, to
The separation authority makes the final decision.
Separation action must be initiated if no medical
condition exists that a soldier from participating in the
weight control program and one of the following is met:
1. The soldier fails to make satisfactory progress in the
weight control program after a period of 6 months.
2. The soldier fails to meet table weight and body fat
standards during the 12 month period following the
removal from the weight control program.
3. Between 12 and 36 months after being removed
from the program, the soldier fails to meet body fat
standards. If so, the soldier has 90 days to meet
body fat standards.
II. Command Requirements before Separation. The
commander must show that the soldier has failed to
meet the weight control standards contained in AR
600-9. A soldier must be given reasonable opportunity
to comply with and meet weight reduction goals.
III. Relation to other Separations. A chapter 18
separation action will only be used if the failure to
meet weight control standards is the sole basis for
separation. If the soldier has another basis for
separation in addition to not meeting weight standards
(such as misconduct), then the soldier will be
separated under the other type of separation action
(such as Chapter 13 or 14).
IV. Soldier Rights. Soldiers have the right to consult
with a TDS attorney or with private counsel at no
expense to the government. Soldiers can also submit
matters for the separation authority to consider before
the separation authority makes a final decision
regarding separation. Additionally, soldiers with at
least 6 years of service are entitled to an administrative
separation board. All soldiers pending Chapter 18
separation should consult with an attorney before
making any decisions concerning the Chapter 18
V. Separation Authority. If the soldier has less than 6
years of total service, the separation authority is
normally the first lieutenant colonel in the chain of
command. If the soldier has 6 or more years of total
service, the separation authority is normally the Special
Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is typically the
first colonel in the chain of command.
VI. Characterization of Service. Soldiers separated
under Chapter 18 must receive an honorable discharge.
(Soldiers with less than 180 days active duty may
receive an entry level status discharge, which is
VII. Separation Pay. Soldiers with at least 6 years of
active duty service who have completed their initial
term of enlistment or obligation may be eligible for
separation pay. Soldiers should confirm their eligibility
for separation pay and the amount of pay with the
transition section at Personnel.