Army forced to admit clinically obese because of recruiting

#1
The army has been forced to let obese recruits join up and extend their
basic training after discovering that two thirds of British teenagers were too
fat to meet fitness rules.


In a damning indictment of today's 'couch potato' generation an astonishing
67 per cent of all 16-year-old's in the UK were found to exceed the maximum
Body Mass Index for military recruits.

Daily Mail Read More
 
#2
How many would remain clinically obese after, say, three weeks. Rubbish food = no great intake. 'Gentle' exercise as PTI have always arranged for fatties. That'd do it.
Them as fall by the wayside - so?
 
#4
OldRedCap said:
How many would remain clinically obese after, say, three weeks. Rubbish food = no great intake. 'Gentle' exercise as PTI have always arranged for fatties. That'd do it.
Them as fall by the wayside - so?
So -

1. the number of fat tossers in training that break ski rockets requiring rehab people to work their already understrength number's nuts off even harder. Therfore av length of time for a passout goes up therefore costs increase.

2. The quality of training goes down as the troops aren't up to meeting the current timetable of progression.

3. As ATRA aren't going to get more time to train these bodies, it will be up to the Bns to take on the problem and attempt to build up their robustness. Bn don't have time nor (unless they're really lucky) all the staff required to do the job.

Remember as well that it is no longer possible to accept a 30% failure/dropout rate from Depot. We simply don't get enough bodies through the door and every single volunteer has to be cajoled into staying. If we don't, our numbers will be even worse than now.

Hard choices are ahead. If we are going to take these people on, then ATRA must be helped. As a start, people will need to realise that the training period will have to increase to allow a sensible training progression to maximise the number of warm bodies at the end.

There is another option which is to accept the increase in breakages in recruits as they go through traning and increase accordingly the number of rehab staff in every training Bn we have. Specialist staff like these are neither easily available or cheap.

However, prevention is better than cure in my book.
 
#5
in_the_cheapseats said:
OldRedCap said:
How many would remain clinically obese after, say, three weeks. Rubbish food = no great intake. 'Gentle' exercise as PTI have always arranged for fatties. That'd do it.
Them as fall by the wayside - so?
So -
1. the number of fat tossers in training that break ski rockets requiring rehab people to work their already understrength number's nuts off even harder. Therfore av length of time for a passout goes up therefore costs increase.
2. The quality of training goes down as the troops aren't up to meeting the current timetable of progression.
3. As ATRA aren't going to get more time to train these bodies, it will be up to the Bns to take on the problem and attempt to build up their robustness. Bn don't have time nor (unless they're really lucky) all the staff required to do the job.
Remember as well that it is no longer possible to accept a 30% failure/dropout rate from Depot. We simply don't get enough bodies through the door and every single volunteer has to be cajoled into staying. If we don't, our numbers will be even worse than now.
Hard choices are ahead. If we are going to take these people on, then ATRA must be helped. As a start, people will need to realise that the training period will have to increase to allow a sensible training progression to maximise the number of warm bodies at the end.
There is another option which is to accept the increase in breakages in recruits as they go through traning and increase accordingly the number of rehab staff in every training Bn we have. Specialist staff like these are neither easily available or cheap.
However, prevention is better than cure in my book.
I can see all that. I just cannot accept that the Army's ability to get things done would not cope with the situations you set out. Immediately to my mind is a pre-joining cadre for chubbies. Not to get them 10 stone fighting supermen but to get them into the idea of having one foot off the ground. Revise the way troops are inducted in their Regiments. Limited range of occupations where 2nd gut tendency is not such a problem when it does not have to fit into a foxhole. I'm sure that guys today can think of more and better solutions. Maybe the first would be to deal with the prejudice against fatties just because they are fat. Maybe BMI is not such a good measure of fitness - look at some of the guys in Rugby League. They'd maybe struggle in Soccer but put a soccer greyhound on the RL field and then ask him what good his low BMI was.
Course - the radical solution would be to put all the chubbies into RAF - already have the uniforms that fit. RAF low BMI'ers moved into Army, Those who were movers suitably branded to ensure they get special tratment.
 
#6
BMI is such a naive test that it should be pretty much ignored. Anyone with a decent muscular build, and I don't mean Arnie, will get an 'obese' score. It can be a guide but should be used in conjunction with %age body fat and measurements to be more sensible.

Shouldn't we recruit more on potential than current ability anyway?
 
#7
green_slime said:
BMI is such a naive test that it should be pretty much ignored. Anyone with a decent muscular build, and I don't mean Arnie, will get an 'obese' score. It can be a guide but should be used in conjunction with %age body fat and measurements to be more sensible.

Shouldn't we recruit more on potential than current ability anyway?
Agreed. BMI is complete nonsense, it is the muscle:fat ratio that counts and cardio vascular efficiency.

According to BMI, I am a fat bloater and going to pop my clogs at any moment. Have gently and not so gently suggested to those so worried about me that having a 46" Chest and a 34" waist, not being exactly slightly built in general and nary a hint of a beer gut in sight might influence their view but no. BMI Rules and always have to jump through extra hoops at the end of which some medico writes up a justification to ignore the BMI score
 
#8
issuing them with a pair of proper boots and some sort of electronic tag, that can record date, time and distance a few weeks before joining might be an idea.
If they really wanted to join up they would have to show that they can break in a pair of boots and cover a certain distance walking each day. A program of acheivable goals would help them increase confidence whilst losing weight.
Some sort of pre induction training would be reasonably cheap to run, perhaps and the entrants would enter induction with a head start attitude.
They would need back up councelling to encourage them and give support.
This could be done by phone or over the net.
 

intli

War Hero
#9
in_the_cheapseats said:
OldRedCap said:
How many would remain clinically obese after, say, three weeks. Rubbish food = no great intake. 'Gentle' exercise as PTI have always arranged for fatties. That'd do it.
Them as fall by the wayside - so?
3. As ATRA aren't going to get more time to train these bodies, it will be up to the Bns to take on the problem and attempt to build up their robustness. Bn don't have time nor (unless they're really lucky) all the staff required to do the job.
Actually, it does say in the announcement that they are going to extend basic training by another 2 weeks! :roll:
 
#10
The Canadian Forces recently dropped all physical fitness testing as a requirement for joining.. ' Recruits' will be ' conditioned' to meet the military's needs during Basic Training , so the new theory goes..and those who are still to fat and lazy to meet ' the ' rigid ' testing will then be turfed at that point...

Seems counter productive to me as you'll have to pay them for as long as they're in, outfit them in the XXL gear until they make the fitness/weight requirement, etc...

why not just weed 'em out first?

As to oversall civilian fitness levels in UK/US/Canada chalk it up to the great prosperity of western civilization that we all have the opportunity to be indolent..

[ yet, to be fair.. gyms and fitness centres are doing a booming business in memberships - good intentions, etc.. but I wonder what the figures are for ' rentention' at those facilities as well ]
 
#11
Blogg said:
green_slime said:
BMI is such a naive test that it should be pretty much ignored. Anyone with a decent muscular build, and I don't mean Arnie, will get an 'obese' score. It can be a guide but should be used in conjunction with %age body fat and measurements to be more sensible.

Shouldn't we recruit more on potential than current ability anyway?
Agreed. BMI is complete nonsense, it is the muscle:fat ratio that counts and cardio vascular efficiency.

According to BMI, I am a fat bloater and going to pop my clogs at any moment. Have gently and not so gently suggested to those so worried about me that having a 46" Chest and a 34" waist, not being exactly slightly built in general and nary a hint of a beer gut in sight might influence their view but no. BMI Rules and always have to jump through extra hoops at the end of which some medico writes up a justification to ignore the BMI score
when i finished school, "just over a year ago now" i took PE, and they showed us BMI, and this other new scale, that takes body type "exomorf, endomorf, mezomorf" amount of muscle, fat, height and weight, which was obviously alot more efficient. Why cant recruiting just use that instead of BMI?
 
#12
when i finished school, "just over a year ago now" i took PE, and they showed us BMI, and this other new scale, that takes body type "exomorf, endomorf, mezomorf" amount of muscle, fat, height and weight, which was obviously alot more efficient. Why cant recruiting just use that instead of BMI?
I think that you will find that the terms are mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph, meaning combinations of short and fat, normal build and tall. It is also said to be linked to a range of diseases and personality types apparently. An old, unscientific and largely discredited bollox theory, I believe.

Nursey
 
#13
Hi first time poster, been following arsse for awhile now though.

I have always wanted to join the army, I still do. However I am and always have been a big bloke. Sometimes unfit with it but mostly I think fairly fit. I am currently in the process of joining as a soldier and I recently underwent the BMI exam height and weight you all know it. Despite having been told that what I could do RE Pressups situps pullups and run was ok I was told I need to lose two stone. This is after a long summer working for a marquee company where it was not unusual to do in excess of fourteen hours a day shifting big weights over crap ground for often some distance. Yes I have a beer belly. But it doesn't weigh two stone. However my rugby players legs do but they arent fat and neither are my arms. Ive taken what I consider the extreme step of quitting alcohol in the hope of shedding my belly. If I dont lose the two stone I might just be fecked regarding joining.

Whilst I was a member of a UOTC I went on a number of exercises. Many of which I was above averagely useful on as big blokes tend to be able to carry more than smaller frames. This inevitably resulted in being dicked with the gpmg or other items. One memorable event was being sent back to pickup my bergen along with two others after an early morning attack and obua exercise. This involved going back over a mile. I know that some of the guys I was with would have had even more trouble than I did, not because of lack of fitness but because they didnt have the frame to attatch stuff to. Analogy= Small cars maybe faster but they cant tow the weight an arctic can.

Yes some out there are obese however not all big people are fat and unfit. I think rather than basing the requirements to join on an arbitrary scale with no real scientific basis. The fitness test and personality of applicant should be all thats taken into account.

Sorry for my long post but I had a lot to get off my chest. Thanks and I wait for the replys.

Satnav
 
#14
BMI is very general and is not a good way of indicating a soldiers fitness. I remember when I was training hard at rugby, (weights, sprints etc) I came up with a score of 26.5 which deemed me as being clinically overweight. This was despite thae fact that I was running an 8min 45sec BFT (with boots).

If the England RFU Team was BMI`d the result would be that they were all clinically obese. I certainly wouldn`t tell them that result!!!!!!

If all round fitness was assessed by the letter of the law in my dark distant days as a recruit instructor, I remember trying to fail a recruit for managing 2 "heaves to the beam". I was overuled as he could pass his BFT!!

Depends on what sort of fitness the Army is after. I`m sure that 4 months of intensive recruit training most potential soldiers will have achieved the minimum standards. (Despite being watered down over the years in my opinion).

Recruiting numbers are lean, the candidates are not.
 
#15
Strongbow



Joined: Oct 31, 2006
Posts: 8

Re: Undermanning in the Armed Forces
Posted: 31/10/2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Obese recruits? Now the chap who re-wrote that policy has never done a Casevac with poncho or lite weight stretcher.... LOL

Perhaps we could the little mites on the Atkins plan at Depot....

Back to top


I stand by this.
And Satnav, interesting post, but carrying the GPMG is NOT a dicking, but a privilege. I don't hold much to your 'Large Frame' ideas, though. Its about the personal and mental fitness. I ahve found most big blokes have enough of their own weight to carry, before picking anything else up. This is through my own experience on courses with other units.
Good luck with the training programme, though. WORK HARD!!
 

Attachments

#16
Thanks. yes I suppose the gpmg could be a privelege especially if one was also given some ammunition for it! Thats just OTC for you.

Maybe my large frame idea is a little unsound. If so then perhaps testing peoples mental and physical strength is even more appropriate. To be honest Im glad the max BMI is going up. It means that people like myself will have the chance to get out there and prove ourselves as good as (and hopefully better than) you skinnier types. As an alternative I wouldnt mind being put on a P company style program which started a while before main recruit training and focused on building fitness in preparation for it. As for larger people not fitting in foxholes i have yet to find somewhere i cant fit if i really want to, I reckon getting shot at is a pretty big incentive to get in a really small space!

Thanks for the encouragement the lack of beer is really starting to get to me!!!
 
#17
My unit is just about to start a Recruit Cadre for all the new lads prior to joining a SABRE SQN. Bloody good idea as well . Covering all the things that are not covered in training ,and no doubt a ''bit'' of phys . I know a few other units have been trying this type of cadre for years.Do they make a difference ? Means we will get half decent lads joining the SQN's with the right attitude (I hope).
 
#18
I don't think the P coy idea is the way forward... in my humble opinion. By the time you reach P coy, you are already very fit, and it is really the final culmination of everything. If you are' a bit of a lump' , I think shedding the pounds would be the best bet. Watching your diet and keeping off the beer is a very good start, and I'm sure there are people on this forum who would be able to help you better than I.
What I would say, though, is give youself a beer reward as such. Maybe a Saturday or something, when you award yourself 8 GOOD cans of your favourite, for your weeks effort. Keep on working!!
 
#19
paveway_3 said:
My unit is just about to start a Recruit Cadre for all the new lads prior to joining a SABRE SQN. Bloody good idea as well . Covering all the things that are not covered in training ,and no doubt a ''bit'' of phys . I know a few other units have been trying this type of cadre for years.Do they make a difference ? Means we will get half decent lads joining the SQN's with the right attitude (I hope).[/quot

Interesting!! When I was 17,just prior to joining, my father took me on a 'Pre cadre' of sorts, map reading , AFV, weapon recognition, PT,ironing(!), military abbreviations etc.
And I f$£king hated him for it. But what a good bloke. I didn't understand at the time, but that set me up for the rest of my career.
 
#20
nurse_ratched said:
when i finished school, "just over a year ago now" i took PE, and they showed us BMI, and this other new scale, that takes body type "exomorf, endomorf, mezomorf" amount of muscle, fat, height and weight, which was obviously alot more efficient. Why cant recruiting just use that instead of BMI?
I think that you will find that the terms are mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph, meaning combinations of short and fat, normal build and tall. It is also said to be linked to a range of diseases and personality types apparently. An old, unscientific and largely discredited bollox theory, I believe.

Nursey
Not wholly true - as descriptors of basic physical "types" it still has some utility. For example, most long distance runners tend to be ectomorphic; sprinters are generally classic mesomorphs (broad shoulders; narrow hips; longish but muscular limbs etc); weight lifters, prop forwards etc are usually endomorphic (broad/ thick trunk; relatively short limbs; short neck etc).

It has little to do with being overweight/ obese per se, although endomorphic types do, it seems, tend to "lay down excess fat" more readily than others. Mike Tyson is a good example - 5'11", and in his prime, 15 stones of highly conditioned "lean & mean": a superbly fit endomorph. According to BMI he was "overweight" for his height (clearly ridiculous - the man was "ripped"!), but taking account of his endomorphic body type, plus the nature/ imperatives of his "calling", gave a more reasonable reckoning of his physical condition. Now, of course, he is simply a fat slob. Equally, some ectomorphs become fat - they don't cease being ectomorphs, but are simply overweight for height/ build, although some may still be deemed "fine" in BMI terms, which serves to highlight what a ridiculous system it is.
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top