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.
I’d like to kick McSally between her femi-Nazi legs and see how SHE likes it.
Excellent. Who needs time on the range or on maneuvers, when they could be running around pretending to be pregnant women?
Some chair polisher in the Pentagon will surely get an Obama promotion for this brilliant idea.
And, just as surely, some under-prepared troops will die.
Well there’s a headline I never thought I’d read outside of bizarro world.
Dear God, this country is lost.
Is this more political correctness or is the US military prepping for something more sinister?
Michael Savage: Obama forces soldiers to wear fake breasts
All those you mentioned as well as the gang-bangers in the forces are there for one reason: When society breaks down these degenerates will be asked to fire upon us regular citizens. All those years of hate directed at us normal Americans will manifest itself in thoughts of "revenge" and "Now we can finally get back at them".
Saw them dancing around, fox had a story on it. It was pathetic!
This was put in motion long before Obama...the last 3 presidents are all culpable. Stuff like this doesn’t happen over night. BTW, does the Israeli military act accordingly?
This pretty much is the last straw.What Next? Make troops take estrogen shots?
MEN.... Had ENOUGH YET? PLEASE will you all at least CONSIDER coming back?
I have been accused of being too pessimistic regarding America’s chances of meaningful survival....but seriously, I rest my case.
By the way, do women similarly have to strap on anything so that they can know what the men are experiencing? Plenty of spare parts are lying around not being used.
I'm sure the pregnant women are saying to themselves, "come on, is that all they have to do is one hour, make them wear it for a whole day, that would be more realistic."
>>Coming soon: Training to show they straight soldiers what the homos feel like.
That wouldn’t surprise me a bit. And the Generals will applaud the idea.
ATEN’CHUN! Can you just picture sargent York with big false Boobs? LOL
I can remeber a day when the rabbit died so did the female soldier’s career.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.