Tags: GIs | Sue | Over | Extra | Pound | Flesh

GIs Sue Over Extra Pound of Flesh

Thursday, 09 November 2000 12:00 AM

According to the Christian Science Monitor:

A federal court has cleared the way for as many as 30,000 military personnel who have been kicked out over the past decade because they failed to meet weight standards to join a class-action suit against the Pentagon that seeks to keep the government's hands off the bonus money they received when they signed up.

Not at issue is the military's right to impose weight requirements – although those standards and their enforcement fluctuates within the various armed services.

But lawyers are now free to litigate over whether the military can recover the signing bonuses and how it goes about trying to get the money back.

It's not exactly small change, either. The individual signing bonuses involved range from $5,000 to $13,000.

The military has had weight maximums for a long time, but the issue – coupled with signing bonuses – has grown more pronounced in the past 10 years.

These are the years in which the Pentagon has been struggling to meet the personnel numbers mandated by Congress. That induces the services to be more lenient on enforcing weight limits.

The result has been a jumble of inconsistent enforcement standards.

At the same time, the Pentagon has felt pressured to find ways to conserve appropriated funds – hence the push to recover signing-bonus money from those military personnel it has booted out for being overweight.

And what is "overweight"?

Depends on which branch of the military you are in.

The Army, for example, will allow body fat of men to range from 20 to 26 percent, depending on age. For women, it's 30 to 36 percent.

But the Navy, faced with severe recruiting and retention problems, has placed a moratorium on discharging sailors because of weight.

Instead, they require hefty sailors to take additional training and nutrition and weight-management counseling.

Those sailors who persist in flunking weight or fitness tests may be ineligible for promotion.

But the crux of the lawsuit is recovery of signing bonuses.

Michael Feldman, the Brunswick, Me., lawyer who initiated the class-action suit, contends that the Pentagon "hasn't been very nice about collecting these bonuses."

He said the recent court order clearing the way for the lawsuit "shows the Department of Defense has to follow the law just like everyone else."

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
According to the Christian Science Monitor: A federal court has cleared the way for as many as 30,000 military personnel who have been kicked out over the past decade because they failed to meet weight standards to join a class-action suit against the Pentagon that seeks...
GIs,Sue,Over,Extra,Pound,Flesh
382
2000-00-09
Thursday, 09 November 2000 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved