Too Fat to Serve?

November 19, 2011
Veteran Journal


The Army Times reports that pudgy kids and couch potato service members are undermining national security.  The Army is facing a prospective drawdown that has it grappling with more soldiers who, according to Army surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, may not be medically fit for duty.

Schoomaker  told the Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington that almost 15 percent of active duty military are unable to deploy due to medical reasons “eroding” readiness.  The Army has begun to focus on recruits.

Deputy surgeon general Maj. Gen. Richard Stone said that today, about 25 percent of new recruits enlist with low iron and low bone density as well as the highest body mass indexes on record.  Physical fitness can be improved during boot camp with education on nutrition and the heavy dose of exercise.  The Army is adding comprehensive soldier fitness programs and implementing electronic health profiling systems to monitor fitness and diet, including a “Go For Green” campaign that promotes eating leafy greens and other nutritious foods.


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