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Published On: Thu, Dec 13th, 2012

1625 ‘Fat soldiers’ dismissed from US Army over weight

Excess body fat among soldiers caused 1,625 to be booted from the U.S. Army in 2012.

A Thursday report said the military dismissals over failed health and fitness tests were 15 times higher than in 2007.

Officials say overweight staff poses threats to national security.

According to a report on December 12 from the Washington Post, the military has re-examined its training programs and is driving commanders to weed out soldiers deemed unfit to fight.

“A healthy and fit force is essential to national security,” said Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “Our service members must be physically prepared to deploy on a moment’s notice anywhere on the globe to extremely austere and demanding conditions.”

US Army Flickr photo

US Army Flickr photo

The Post cites a 2010 study which found that many of those seeking enlistment are turned away at alarming numbers over lack of fitness or combat readiness.

During the first 10 months of this year, the Army kicked out 1,625 soldiers for being out of shape, about 15 times the number discharged for that reason in 2007, the peak of wartime deployment cycles.

“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,” said Stew Smith, a former Navy SEAL and fitness expert who has designed workout routines for service members and law enforcement personnel struggling to meet workplace fitness standards. “During a period of drawdown, everything starts getting teeth, and that’s kind of where we are again.”

The Army dismissed thousands of soldiers for being overweight after Desert Storm ended in 1991.

Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said he was floored by what he found in 2009 when he was assigned to overhaul the Army’s training system. Seventy-five percent of civilians who wanted to join the force were ineligible, he said. Obesity was the leading cause.

“Of the 25 percent that could join, what we found was 65 percent could not pass the [physical training] test on the first day,” he said in a recent speech. “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.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Being Motivated When Trying To Lose Weight - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] lose weight as opposed to actually learning how to lose weight. It is a growing problem, even with soldiers being dismissed because they are overweight. So, even soldiers have motivation […]

  2. 1625 ‘Fat soldiers’ dismissed from US Army over weight - Military News | Military News says:

    […] […]

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