As many Army recruits do not pass fitness standards, seasoned soldiers are also being booted off over weight issues.There have been 1,625 dismissals on grounds of lack of fitness, from the beginning of the year up to October, Washington Post writes. In 2007, the number was 15 times smaller, the same publication writes.
A 2010 study showed that, in the States, 86,186 troops, or 5.3 percent of the entire number of soldiers, were dubbed overweight or obese, following medical check-ups.
The Pentagon is citing that soldiers must be in good health to serve their country; however, sacking the troops is helping the Army's budget, HuffPost writes.
“A healthy and fit force is essential to national security.
“Our service members must be physically prepared to deploy on a moment’s notice anywhere on the globe to extremely austere and demanding conditions,” says Comander Leslie Hull-Ryde, a spokesperson for the Pentagon.
Some argue that the entire country is struggling with obesity, even dubbing it an epidemic.
"This is not just an Army issue. [...] This is a national issue,” retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said in 2010.
Starting 2010, army men go through yoga and pilates, instead of just focusing on building strength and resistance. Even so, it appears some recruits' physical condition is so bad, they cannot even jump or do a roll.
“Of the 25 percent that could join, what we found was 65 percent could not pass the [physical training] test on the first day. [...] Young people joining our service could not run, jump, tumble or roll — the kind of things you would expect soldiers to do if you’re in combat,” Hertling describes.
“During a war period, when we were ramping up, the physical standards didn’t have a lot of teeth because we needed bodies to go overseas, to fill platoons and brigades.
“During a period of drawdown, everything starts getting teeth, and that’s kind of where we are again,” explains former Navy Seal Stew Smith, who comes up with workout routines for overweight army and law enforcement officers.