Skip to comments.Military test of body fat faces criticism
Posted on 10/28/2013 7:49:08 AM PDT by Olog-hai
Doctors say a number of military personnel are turning to liposuction to remove excess fat from around the waist so they can pass the Pentagons body fat test.
Some service members say they have no other choice because the Defense Departments method of estimating body fat is weeding out not just flabby physiques but bulkier, muscular builds.
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The military has a weight problem - and it is getting harder to get rid of those who are not meeting standards.
I go to several military bases, both AF and Army. I am a amazed at the fatasses in uniform. Amazed. Young and older alike. There are big butts and muffintops everywhere.
I am an avid weightlifter and circuit trainer and my last caliper test put my body fat at 9%. Most would consider me “ripped”. (six pack abs, extreme muscle definition) At 5’10” and 190 lbs according to my BMI, I am “overweight”.
They seem to have forgotten a lot of their standards lately. But even when I was in, the tape test was bogus. I had my body fat measured by underwater weighing at 13% and the tape said 24%. For a large muscular person to stay in the Army they need to maintain very low body fat compared to little guys who can have a fat ass and a muffin top because the come in under the weight and don’t have to tape test.
I’ll never forget the day a short crewmate was measured and told he was fat. The dumbfounded look on his face; a guy that was 5’7” and could bench 350 was told he was fat by weight standards.
O wants the military to be staffed with skinny people like himself.
Your problem has been around for a long time. In 1978 one of the lieutenants in my squadron was tagged for being overweight. He too was a weightlifter, former football player, all around athlete and he was in perfect shape. They were going to boot him because his BMI was out of their set bounds. He fought them for a year and finally one flight surgeon called BS on the regs and had him dipped two separate times. His body fat was at about 9-10% and the flight surgeon went to the AF Surgeon General on behalf of him and a number of others. They won the point. My contemporary went on to a 30 year career and a rank of full colonel.
It is not only the weight “standards”. I never had a weight problem nor did I have a fitness testing problem; until just before my retirement in 1993. They were changing the fitness testing and wanted 43 year old me to meet a set of requirements that were almost identical to what I was required to meet as a 22 yo Marine in 1973. The whole thing was ridiculous and they finally backed away when they killed off a couple of senior NCOs and officers in their pilot program.
BMI is absolute bullspit. If you can pass an old-fashioned PT test, you can serve. Nuf ced.
Yep. One of my shipmates was a NCAA wrestling champ and was consistently harassed for BMI. Guy was built like a Greek statue and just about as hard.
BMI charts and Chapter 13 actions - a sure sign that another drawdown is underway.
I never thought of having liapo to beat a tape test, somebody was a genius.
Just like the Clinton years, also you forgot the trimming of ROTC programs. Had a buddy get burned the last time.
Back in the 80s, the Army asked all Commanders what we thought the Army should have for a test of physical fitness. I told them to talk to the combat vets around the world. They would have real world experience with what was necessary for combat fitness. Instead, they went with what was cheapest. The three event physical fitness test was made the standard not because it measures combat fitness, but because it was the cheapest. The old five event test had to have some equipment (horizontal ladder, run-dodge and jump course) and that cost money. The three event test just required ground and a stopwatch. So, we don’t really know if our Soldiers are fit for combat. Our leaders hope they are. And the weight control program never even tried to be about combat fitness. It was just a means to get rid of people. When DESERT STORM was gearing up, all of a sudden, weight control wasn’t important. How could that be? We were going to war! Is weight important or not? It’s important if you are reducing the force. It’s not important if the enemy has tanks.