Skip to comments.Soldiers don fake belly, breasts to better understand pregnant troops' exercise concerns
Posted on 02/18/2012 2:19:28 PM PST by Altura Ct.
The Army is ordering its hardened combat veterans to wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training.
This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the pregnancy simulators as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.
Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York.
Developed by the Army in 2008, the course includes aerobics classes, pool sessions and classroom studies on the physiology of pregnant women. The NCOs learn special exercises for pregnant women, who shouldnt push themselves too hard or participate in high-impact activities such as snowboarding, bungee jumping or horse riding, York said.
During the training, each NCO must wear the pregnancy simulator for at least an hour.
When they first come in, the males are typically timid and dont feel they have the knowledge to teach female soldiers, she said. However, after three days their confidence rises.
Sgt. Michael Braden, a helicopter crew chief who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, said he was less than enthusiastic about taking part.
I didnt want to do it, said Braden, 29, of Everett, Wash.
The 78th Aviation Battalion mechanic said he was ordered to do the training even though he doesnt have any female soldiers in his unit and doesnt see himself as the right sort of person to run the aerobics classes that make up a large portion of the PPPT training.
Despite his misgivings, Braden strapped on the empathy belly and spent Tuesday morning learning low-impact aerobics moves like the grapevine and the V-step.
This whole thing is pretty uncomfortable, he said of the 25-pound pregnancy simulator. But, body armor is a lot heavier.
Braden said he didnt know there was such a thing as physical training for pregnant soldiers before he started the course.
Ive learned that being pregnant is no excuse to avoid PT, he said.
According to an Army fact sheet about the program, moderate exercise promotes a more rapid recovery from the birth process and a faster return to required physical fitness levels.
An Army study showed significant Army physical fitness test failures, height/weight failures, and increased injury and illness rates when active-duty soldiers who dont take part in physical exercise during pregnancy return to their unit, according to the fact sheet.
The program, which is mandatory for pregnant soldiers, was set up to get them back to their units quickly after they give birth, according to Staff Sgt. Latoya Nieves-Gonzales, who is helping York train the NCOs at Camp Zama.
Pregnant soldiers were trying to do [regular Army] physical training and they couldnt do a lot of the exercises, she said.
Soldiers have six months to meet the Armys height and weight standards and pass a physical training test after they give birth, she said, adding that nine pregnant soldiers do PPPT training at Camp Zama each morning.
In the last year, we have only had one soldier who didnt meet those standards and she was already in the weight-reduction program before she got pregnant, she said.
Female soldiers typically add 25-30 pounds during a pregnancy, said Nieves-Gonzales, who put on 20 pounds before the birth of her own son, Xavier, six years ago in Würzburg, Germany.
That was before PPPT training was mandatory.
My unit said: You cant do PT with us so just sleep in, she said.
Still, soldiers used to mounting up with rucksacks and rifles were not too keen on the idea of strapping on a big belly and fake breasts.
Im not looking forward to wearing the pregnancy simulator, said Sgt. Matthew Prout, a 26-year-old member of the 88th Military Police Detachment at Camp Zama.
The Army Combatives instructor said he was worried that the frontal weight would throw his balance off during aerobics routines.
It gives me a better sense of what the pregnant woman is going through as she is going the exercises, he said. It will allow me to see both sides.
It never occurred to Prout, when he joined the Army, that hed learn to train pregnant soldiers, he said.
My initial view of the Army was just kind of we train, we fight, he said. But my eyes have been opened up to the family aspects of the Army as opposed to just the single soldier view.
Prout, who is single, said he hoped the PPPT training would help him relate to his future wife when she gets pregnant.
A lot of people when their wives get pregnant just say, good luck, but I will be able to be there step by step, he said.
This is for real?
Am I alone here in not being aware that pregnant women were being trained, etc?
Political correctness will destroy our military. It took them decades, but the left has finally figured out how to do it.
Oh yeah, and it makes me sick.....how PC do we have to get in this country before we go down the drain???!!!
This is SUCH BULLSHIT!
This PC crap is getting ridiculous. And I thought Clinton was embarrassing for using our troops basically for Meals on Wheels in other countries. With Zero, PC has gone to a whole new level, much to our country’s detriment.
The cancer goes deep, sissafacation of the military
Coming soon: Training to show they straight soldiers what the homos feel like.
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Why are pregnant troops exercising?
Why are pregnant troops doing anything?
Why are there pregnant troops?
Why should other soldiers “understand” something that shouldn’t exist anyeay?
They’re going to cut military spending? How about starting with non-sense like this. What about those ‘stress cards’, too?
They sure can find money for silly PC chit.
This is absolutely the stupidest thing I’ve heard......
Martha McSally, owes Rick Santorum an apology for saying she wanted to kick him in the jimmy. As this article illustrates, Santorum is correct, and she is wrong.
Why we don’t we just have the men pee while sitting down?
Zero needs to have his butt shipped back to Chicago on January 20th.
One day, insanity will be a luxury that we can no longer afford.
As I've said many times, we can only hope that we have a Military Coup d'Etat in the USA, before all the REAL men in the Military are gone.