- (Photo: Reuters/Bob Strong)
Overweight soldiers are being booted from the United States army as the body addresses what it has called a national security concern. This year through October the army has reportedly dismissed 1,625 soldiers for failing fitness requirements.
According to The Washington Post, the military has decided to clamp down on overweight soldiers as it looks to trim its budget as well as address national security concerns.
The 1,625 soldiers booted from the army over the first 10 months of 2012 is 15 times the number dismissed in 2007, revealing the alarming rate of dismissals taking place this year. Over 2007 and 2008 the number of Americans who were unable to reach the fitness levels required for military service included 5.7 million men and 16.5 million women.
Some have said that America's obesity epidemic is being revealed even through potential military recruits. However, others have simply said that soldiers are being unfairly targeted, according to The Huffington Post.
The number of "military age men" who have been unable to achieve the enlistment body weight required by the military has doubled since 50 years ago, according to a 2010 Cornell study released by CBS. Being overweight has now become the top reason why recruits are rejected at the time of enlistment, according to The New York Times.
Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling has previously highlighted in 2010 that the issue was not just an army one, but a national problem. He said, "This is not just an Army issue. This is a national issue."
The military is looking to address the issue, however, and already earlier this year the army launched a new pilot physical fitness exam. The tests require recruits to do sprints, standing long jump 1.5 mile runs, sit-ups and a two mile run, among other tasks, according to The Associated Press.