(WWTI) — The U.S. Army has made changes to its Combat Fitness Test.

A new U.S. Army directive will exempt all soldiers, regardless of their height and weight, from the body fat assessment if they score 540 points or more on the Army Combat Fitness Test.

Th directive was announced by Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston in a press release on March 16, 2023.

“When our people are ready, the Army is ready,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston. “As Soldiers leverage all domains of Holistic Health and Fitness and strive to reach their maximum potential, our policies should encourage their progress, not constrain it.”

For the exemption, soldiers must score at least 80 points in each event.

The directive was approved by Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth following preliminary findings of the Army Comprehensive Body Composition Study.

According to the Army, this study evaluated the relationship between body fat and fitness levels. Additionally, the study found that soldiers with a high volume of lean muscle mass were still at risk of failing the body fat assessment.

The Army said that the new directive will help avoid mistakenly flagging soldiers and applies to all soldiers regardless of their sex, age or ethnicity.

Grinston said further policy changes are still under consideration and will require further validation before final approval. 

The exemption is effective immediately, according to Army officials and will apply to soldiers’ next ACFT.

Soldiers who fail to re-validate within these timelines are subject to body fat assessments and flagging actions for body fat assessment failures.