According to Marine Corps Order (MCO) 6110.3 W/Ch 1 (Aug 8, 2008) : Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program (MCBCMAP), the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) talks about how every Marine has to comply with certain height and weight standards and present a “suitable military appearance.”
He goes on to say, “Marines who exceed weight and body fat standards are a detriment and detract from the combat readiness of their unit. Furthermore, it can generally be considered that a Marine who meets established height, weight, body composition, grooming and uniform standards will present a suitable military appearance. The presentation of an unsuitable military appearance is inconsistent with the Marine Corps leadership principle of setting the example. Simply put, Marines who do not present a suitable military appearance fail to possess the qualities necessary to effectively lead marines.”
Basically, you can run a 300 PFT, 300 CFT, win rifle competitions, deploy multiple times to all the corners of the globe, have a thousand MCIs done, taken every knowledge course taken known in the Marine Corps but… if you don’t have a “suitable military appearance”, then you aren’t a leader. What exactly is a “suitable military apperance”? In this document, it doesn’t define it at all. This means that your douchebag SNCO can define it to be whatever he wants it to be. He can pick and choose whoever he wants to fuck with. Failure to follow this means your career goes downhill fast (promotions, special assignments, retention, paperwork, etc).
I knew a guy in my company that looked like he ran a 300 PFT and he did. He was so muscular that you’d have to ask him if he took steroids. He was put on the Body Conditioning Program, which was meant for fat people. This man was able to pass every physical test thrown at him but since he didn’t meet height and weight standards, he had to be put in the fat body program. The Marine Corps took a good, functional Marine and degraded him into something undesirable. Now, if you’re like this guy, you can get a waiver if you exceed the height/ weight standard but you need a commander/ OIC who possess special courts-martial convening authority. Of course, your SNCO will never tell you this. So the most part, you’re pretty fucked unless you request mast and you know you are in the right.
This order shows that the Marine Corps has been reduced to nothing more than a rigged beauty pageant where the judges play favorities.
The only except to this is if you are pregnant or have some sort of medical problem (weight-gaining disease, broken bones, etc).
Fun fact: If you fail to meet the height and weight standards by weighing too little, you get sent a doctor and a nutritionist.
Looking pretty since 1775.