Report: Army Discharging Overweight Soldiers

Monday, 10 Dec 2012 03:03 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The Army’s looking for thinner men and women.

The leading cause of civilians not making the cut is obesity, the Washington Post reports, and budgetary concerns are leading the Army to drop those who cannot meet its fitness standards.

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

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The Army kicked out 1,625 active-duty personnel for being out of shape during the first 10 months of the year — nearly 16 times more than in 2007, the peak of wartime deployment cycles, the Post reports.

Between 1998 and 2010, those soldiers deemed overweight more than tripled. In 2010, 86,183 troops, or 5.3 percent of the force, received at least one clinical diagnosis of obesity, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

As such, the military is now re-examining its training programs and is driving commanders to discharge soldiers determined unfit to fight, the Post reports.

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