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Topic: Obesity and he military< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
KenV Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 10:36 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Too fat to fight."

This thread is a follow up to the previous thread on obesity.  That one was about the generic problem of obesity in the USA.  This one is more specific to the effects of obesity on our nation’s military readiness.  I don’t know if this belongs in the TPA or not, but I don’t think so.  If the moderator disagrees, he can move it.

A recent report  shows the effect on our military of the growing national obesity problem.

This report states:

at least nine million 17- to 24-year-olds in the United States are too fat to serve in the military.

Being overweight or obese turns out to be the leading medical reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service.  Today, otherwise excellent recruit prospects, some of them with generations of sterling military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too overweight.

LINK1

A recent Washington Post article cites the above report and then discusses the topic of obesity’s effect on our military readiness.

LINK2

So whadaya think?

Is obesity really a “national security” issue as this report states?  All the services are after all meeting their recruitment requirements.  But that could be a reflection of the economy.  When the economy fully recovers, which seems likely, will the obesity problem start cutting into the ability of the services to meet their recruitment requirements?  And if it does, will it even be a "national security" issue then?

Or are the military’s weight restrictions unrealistic (and perhaps even discriminatory) when they reject “overweight” applicants?  Perhaps the military’s weight standards need to be altered?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I got people shooting at me, I wanna be as skinny as possible.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 10:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do you have any idea how many calories are in those MREs?  Maybe for guys who are sitting around camp, they should MRElite.  With half the trans-fat of regular MREs.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WalksWithBlackflies @ Jul. 26 2013, 10:43 am)
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If I got people shooting at me, I wanna be as skinny as possible.

Cute.  But only a small per centage of our military folks are at the pointy end of the spear getting shot at.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 11:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I graduated from high school I weighed about 140 pounds. A few months later when graduating from Army basic training I weighed 165 pounds.

Every morning it was eggs, meat, milk. Every dinner it was meat, potatoes, bread and milk.

The military makes itself fat.


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KenV Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 3:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(desert dweller @ Jul. 26 2013, 11:03 am)
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When I graduated from high school I weighed about 140 pounds. A few months later when graduating from Army basic training I weighed 165 pounds.

Every morning it was eggs, meat, milk. Every dinner it was meat, potatoes, bread and milk.

The military makes itself fat.

On the other hand.....

Although the military can control (to some extent) what a recruit eats, it (generally) does not control how much a recruit eats.  And in today's military, there is MUCH more awareness of both what and how much our troops eat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 4:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A service-member could get discharged (i.e. lose their job) for being too fat though under various regulations that have been perfected over decades.  I remember some fellow officers eating nothing but salad for weeks during a military course several years ago.  The Army weighed everyone in at the start of the course and those "over" could attend ... but they wouldn't get their certificate unless they lost the weight at the end.

During the recent wars, the "weigh in" was put on the backburner as ground troops were needed but there will be a resurgence.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 5:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Those M-16s are too darn light.  Maybe they should issue everyone a BAR, or...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 5:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well darn.  I guess we'll just have to stop fighting needless wars then.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 9:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

KenV, neither of your links refers to a problem of obesity within the military but rather to the the problem that obesity in the general public presents in maintaining the end strength of today's military.  The problem discussed is that the pool of young people available to be recruited is increasing in girth at an alarming rate.  This can have a direct effect on military readiness in that it deminishes the pool of "qualified" applicants.  That in turn can leave gaps in filling the front end of the pipeline as service members leave the other end of the pipeline at their end of service.  

Having been a Marine Corps recruiter I sympathize with the battle that recruiters from all branches have to face daily to satisfy their mission.

As for the comment made above about MRE's.  Well, MRE's are designed to give you a ton of calories in one shot knowing that you might only eat one (or part of one) MRE a day in a combat or field environment.  They are not intended to be eaten for three meals a day.  I do recall a Sgt who ate them for every meal on a deployment once... His weight (as well as waistline) shot up dramatically.  After some informal counciling from his fellow NCO's he saw the error of his ways and got back within height and weight standards...  

I can not speak for any other branch of service, but obesity is both formally and informally frowned upon in the Marine Corps and in my experience not tolerated.  Over weight Marines are assigned mandatory physical training (above and beyond the normal requirements) and they either come within standards or are seperated from service.  Trust me, being overweight in the Marine Corps is not a position one wishes to find themselves in.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 12:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KenV @ Jul. 26 2013, 10:47 am)
QUOTE

(WalksWithBlackflies @ Jul. 26 2013, 10:43 am)
QUOTE
If I got people shooting at me, I wanna be as skinny as possible.

Cute.  But only a small per centage of our military folks are at the pointy end of the spear getting shot at.

Really?  That's what you saw overseas the last 10 years?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 12:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Marine Corps does not have an obseity problem.  Some of the other branches might.  That's because they don't enforce their own standards.  Fat bodies are not eating MREs.  They are sucking down cupcakes in the chow hall.  Lamebeaver just as some may not be aware of how many calories are in an MRE, I doubt you have any idea how many calories a infantryman will burn threw carrying a combat load and pounding the turf for a day.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 1:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Meals Rejected by the Enemy.

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KenV Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pass-thru @ Jul. 27 2013, 12:23 am)
QUOTE

(KenV @ Jul. 26 2013, 10:47 am)
QUOTE

(WalksWithBlackflies @ Jul. 26 2013, 10:43 am)
QUOTE
If I got people shooting at me, I wanna be as skinny as possible.

Cute.  But only a small per centage of our military folks are at the pointy end of the spear getting shot at.

Really?  That's what you saw overseas the last 10 years?

I've been in the Navy for the past two+ decades.

Most ship-bound sailors very seldom, if ever, get shot at.  SEALS, some corpsmen  assigned to ground units (like SEALS and Marines), and some pilots/flt crew  may get shot at.  They are a small minority in the Navy.

The same is true to one extent or another in all the services.  The number of folks at the tip of the spear actually getting shot at is pretty small compared to the total force.  The vast majority of folks are stateside or assigned to non-combat areas, like Europe, Japan, Korea, etc.  Even of those assigned to combat zones, the number getting shot at is small relative to the number supporting them.   With the rise of drone warfare, even that number is going down.
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